It was a bright sunny Saturday morning and the wind was negligible The sun had given notice that it was going to be a nice hot summers day. The odds and sods, the oddballs and misfits of society which every two weeks metamorphosize into the Watchet Angling club met at the stone strewn dust ridden car park at Parchey on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain. As usual insults where traded and lies and fibs about the previous weeks fishing were swapped.
A short chronological order of events.
The draw was made at 0845, and of we jolly well went with a hop and a skip across Parchey bridge on to the bridgwater bank (Parchey to Bradney) to our allotted pegs.
The hopeful participants as normal set out their stall, setting up poles, whips and waggler rods. Task completed and there was time found before the off for people to walk the banks and have a bit of a chin wag.
10.00 am whistle is sounded and battle commences, This is where Alan Bland takes up part of the story. Alan our much beloved match secretary had pulled out peg 86 which people who have local angling knowledge will know is right next to the bridge. ” I started to catch right away, a fish a chuck. An hour and a half in to the match I reckoned 20lb plus is on the cards here alright as the stamp of fish were improving”. This unfortunately was the lull before the storm, dark clouds were looming, disaster was coming around the corner.
11.30 The first of the foot soldiers and shock troops appeared from the “lets F**k up the anglers day” battalion. Convoy after convoy followed and made headway to the far bank next to the car park. Base camp was set up where exercise “let’s p**s the anglers off ” was coordinated from. Tents and gazebos where set up to add a touch of professionalism to the operation.
11.45 am The amphibious section enters the water. This devious group was well equipped to employ the ultimate amount of mayhem. A plethora of craft from paddle boards to canoes, from rubber dinghies to rubber inflatables were employed to maximum effect to ruin one’s fishing. The foot soldiers had there own tactics to, to cause total destruction of ones chances of catching fish. In military type precision they aligned themselves on Parchey bridge and at a set time leapt and let gravity take over and enter the water with the greatest noise possible.
At one stage there was well over a 100 people participating and one point Tony Richards who was on peg 84 counted 47 people in the water at once. The disturbance of the water was such that Alan Bland had to alter the depth of his tackle and lay on the bottom to stop his float from moving. He also commented that if there was a burger or ice van present they would of made a killing. This sums it up. Once this crowd of people arrived the fishing just died.
Okay trust me I am no killjoy and I don’t want to take away peoples fun and pleasure like ours was on Saturday.
But here is a few points to note.
The rules of the Bridgwater Angling Club (which rents the water from the EA) and which indeed are common sense are.
No boats on Bridgwater Angling waters are a allowed. Bloody hell what I saw the word flotilla, regatta and armada springs to mind.
No swimming allowed in Bridgwater Angling waters, oh well a few got away with that one then.
No fires on the banks of Bridgwater Angling water. Well you could smell barbecues from our bank.
Not for one moment do I blame Bridgwater Angling Association. Give me some slack here for the moment. Last year Alan Bland, Dave Nash and yours truly pleasure fished midweek the same place but a bit further up the bank and the same thing happened but on a very smaller scale. Next day Alan rang up the Enviromental Agency to complain. He was passed on from one department to another. In the end the answer given was it’s a matter for the police or the local authorities.
Right stay with it. If I own a commercial fishery I am responsible for the upkeep of the place. It is up to me to make sure that people adhere to the rules. If there is a commotion on site it is up to me to sort it out or call the police. Bear in mind if you just fish my fishery for the whole season you still need an EA rod license.
The Kings Sedgemoor Drain is the responsibilty of the EA. There fore it up to them to police it.
There are no signs in place with the rules on at the entrances to the banks.
Now reading this you might rightly say why did you lot fish here in the first place. Okay.
Above is a photo copy of the junior fixture list from the 1980/81 Bridgwater license. Have a look. There you will see matches held at Greylake, Bradney, Silver fish and of course Parchey. Holding matches at Greylake, and Silver Fish are totally out of the equation now owing to state of the venues. Bradney looks to be in a terminal state of decline and the conditions of some of the pegs make it more or less impossible for older people with back, hip or knee problems to fish. So now in a reality sense Parchey is only the real option on the table now.
It appears that the EA want your rod license money and nothing else. Since the EA took over from the National Rivers Authority the conditions for fishing on the KSD have gone down hill at a great rate of knots. To quote Wordsworth “they are like the lilies of the field they neither reap or do they sow” Bridgwater Angling Association used to get quite a lot of income from pegs fees from matches held on the KSD. The 1965 national had 800 anglers on the drain alone and clubs from all over the southwest used to book matches on this water. But owing to the state of the drain match fishing has plummeted and fees has diminished. These fees help to pay for the rental for this venue. The sear cheek is that the EA still expect the rent to be paid but owing to their ineptness have thwarted the means in helping paying it. In other words Bridgwater Angling have been screwed. Enough said.
The results of the match have been somewhat over shadowed by the above events. But it got to be noted that for obvious reasons the better weights were furthest from the bridge. But lets not take any credit away from the people who done well.
First on the day from peg 69 was Paul Smith with a good weight for the conditions (hot and mostly windless) of 10 lb 05 oz. Paul employed mostly pinkie and short pole and the waggler and maggot.
Mr Nigel Coram who was end pegger on peg 64 done well for 2nd spot with a reasonable weight of 7 lb 04 oz his tactics was short pole with maggot over black ground bait.
Making amends from his last match was Ian Townsend with a weight of 5 lb 10 oz from peg 66. Ian used corn and maggot with pole. Mr Townsend got 3rd.
In 4th we find Dave Nash from peg79. This silvers veteran landed a weight of 4lb 04 oz. Method employed was waggler and maggot and whip and caster.
Alan Bland who was at ground zero of the mayhem got 5th with a weight of 3 lb 10 oz on peg 86 his approach was pole and maggot, but note he did not have any fish after 11.45 am.
In all honesty I think owing to the circumstances it is best to draw the line at the match summary here because it seems immaterial to carry on.
I was over at Dunwear ponds a few days ago and was horrified by how much the green algae had taken hold in big pit and it seems that this hot weather is not going to help matters. Below are the swims back of South pond.
The people on the Bridgwater angling committee must be pulling there hair out it’s been nearly 2 months now since you could fish big pit. First it was the fish that was late in spawning and now the algae problem. Fingers crossed for the future.
Well that all folks on this somewhat melancholic post.
Tight lines Pete C