Match fished at Trinity Waters 28th August 2021

First on the day and it would be correct to say by a very wide margin indeed was Ian Townsend. Ian bagged a truly outstanding weight from peg 21 of 164 lb 04 oz. This Carp only haul was taken on the pole fishing the margins with meat as bait. Hearty congratulations to him.

Victory for Mr Ian Townsend.

In 2nd place was Carp basher Eric Searle with a weight of 109 lb 14 oz. Fishing from peg 25 Mr Searle fished feeder with pellet. By the way thanks Eric for the tomatoes and cucumber mate.

A 2nd for Eric.
This is one of the fish that Eric had caught which actually ended up in his silvers net. The reason being was that Eric didn’t believe it was a Carp.

3rd spot went Steve Warren who had a weight of 53 lb 14 oz. On peg 12 Steve tactics was pole and soft pellet. Part of his catch was a lovely Perch of 1 lb 11 oz.

A happy go lucky Steve Warren.

Paul Smith found himself at 4th place with a mix bag of 37 lb 13 oz. From peg number 16. Paul used pole with worm and banded pellet.

At 5th was Rob Dodd who seems to be a bit out of sorts at the moment and must be missing his normal finishing place in the top 3. But Rob on peg 13 had a creditable placing with a net of 32 lb 02 oz. Pole with sweetcorn, worm and maggot was utilized.

Number 6 was Bob Pascoe who used the pole and meat approach at 8 meters from peg 29. He managed to put on the scales 31 lb 13 oz.

In at 7 spot was Ian Grabham on corner peg 6, Ian amassed a total of 31 lb 03 oz. This was obtained by mainly pole at 11 meters with paste.

Tony Richards at 8th placing had a totally different way of doing things by using bread throughout. He used bread punch and bread flake from corner swim 32. This tactic earned him a reasonable weight of 26 lb 05oz.

26lb 02 oz got match secretary Alan Bland into 9th spot. Peg 31 was his home for the day and pole with meat and paste was used.

10th place went to Phil Dodd. Using an ordinary feeder and his favourite bait dead maggot Phil netted a total of 25 lb 03 oz from peg 27.

Dave Nash was 11th although at the wrong end of the main table he was top of the silvers table so well done to him. Peg 10 was the place of his silvers triumph. Pole with worm and caster helped to a weight of 16 lb 13oz.

12th was good old Alan Jenkins on peg 23. Alan caught 4 lb 01 oz he employed and in his own words “all sorts”.

Right this is my peg at the weigh in. Go on have a guess.

Okay lets get down to the nitty gritty, writing this match report was like writing ones own obituary. Yours truly did hook 3 Carp and all was lost at the net. On two occasions the line snapped. (no comment)! I did land one descent skimmer near the end but thought best not to waste peoples time.

I not going to say that I was the worst angler on the day but I was certainly in the bottom one.

The results.
The top silvers.

Although I have been a Bridgwater Angling Association permit holder since 1975 and spent a great deal of my school summer holidays over Dunwear ponds, add to that I pass through Dunwear at least twice a week as an alternative way to work, but I have to say I haven’t fished the ponds in 5 years until last Thursday. That said day me and a very good friend of mine one John Hughes who a lot of you fine readers will remember used to work in Somerset Angling found ourselves fishing the big pond. Well not shy on trying something different we decided to fish on one of the newish pallets which backs on to North pit. And there evolved a typical fishing session of two old gits sitting side by side, lines in the water having a good old reminisce and a right old moan. The weather was obliging and the change of scenery was pleasing on the eye. We were living the experience, lapping it up and chilling out. There was however an added extra that of Mr Hughes having a very productive day by catching eight nice size bream all ranging between 4 lb and 5lb. A fine catch indeed which was the result of the feeder. The consensus between us however was the excellent condition of the fish and concluded that most of the fish landed had never been caught before. We shall pay this place a visit again.

Well done Mr Hughes.

Now it would be criminal of me if I didn’t mention the very hard work by a small band of dedicated members of the Bridgwater Angling Association who use their spare time to improve things at Dunwear. Believe me folks the effort that these guys put in is no mean feat. lots of sweat and effort have been expended in to improving the venue for the benefits of the members. The list of things that have been achieved have been the replacement of many pallets, the putting up of fences and gates to thwart access to the general public and improve the safety of the angling members. The creating of paths such as the ones leading to the aptly named swims of slopey, killer and helicopter. And a general upgrading of the car park. Also as well and we must not forget the fantastic job that has been done to the Railway pond. These developments have taken a lot of endeavour from a small group of volunteers. To these selfless people, Sirs I take my hat of to you, I will get on bended knee and give you grace. Well done chaps.

Now people who read this blog will probably realise that the Environmental Agency are not not on my Christmas card list. The decline of the river Huntspill and Kings Sedgemoor Drain spring to mind in this train of thought. It was with a mixture of amusement and interest to read a small article from the Bridgwater Mercury published two weeks ago about operation Lungfish. Apparently the EA are undertaking a series of patrols to target poachers and those fishing without a license. Now in the last paragraph from the cutting below we see that a certain Heidi Stone who has the title of fisheries partnership manager Saying “anti-social behaviour on our banks ( I presume this includes the banks of Kings Sedgemoor Drain at Parchay) is not only harmful but can have a detrimental effect on the environment”. Well my dear you have missed a very important point indeed. You have forgot to mention that anti-social behaviour has a dentrimental effect on the fishing as well. Yes fishing that sport which is participated by anglers. The anglers who pay money for a rod license.

On the 17th of July of this year Watchet Angling club had a match ruined by anti-social behaviour (see blog post) at Parchay on the KSD. Nothing could be done apparently, the EA consider it a civil matter. Even though the KSD is their water.

Now in this respect this operation Lungfish reminds me of the props department who was part of the production team who produced the 1960s Sci Fi series Star Trek. You know the series with captain Kirk, doctor Mc coy, Spock and Scotty. Well certain scenes from various episodes showed shots of Kirks and Spock quarters with weird and wonderful ornaments and nik naks to try to portray futuristic trends and fashions.

Live long and prosper.

Now as a joke the props department etched these ornaments and nik naks with the letters LGDN which stands for looks good does nothing. Do you get my point?

Some good news, From September 1st the Railway pond at Dunwear will be open for Fishing.

Well I have had a good old moan and all the remains is for me to say

Tight lines.

Pete C.

Match Fished At Avalon on Saturday 14th August 2021

First on the day from end peg 29 was Mr consistent Steve Warren who is there or there abouts every time. Steve fished pole all day and had his catch of 78 lb 12 oz mostly on worm. He had double bubble of top weight and top silvers. Good one mate.

Mr Consistent.

2nd top rod was match secretary Alan Bland, method employed from peg 39 was yes you guessed it, paste and pole, oh he did use meat as well. His catch was 60 lb 02 oz.

Alan who had 2nd place is a bit camera shy.

Eric Searle the carp guru on peg 42 found himself in 3rd spot with a haul of 56 lb 07 oz. Feeder with pellet to the island was his tactics. He did have a moan though (well he wouldn’t be Eric if he didn’t have a moan) about losing umpteen feeders which now garnish a few trees.

Eric’s of to the tackle shop next week to get some new feeders.

Young Mr Ian Grabham finished 4th with a creditable weight of 56 lb 01 oz. Fishing from peg 40 he used a combination of feeder and pellet and pole and paste.

Out of form Rob Dodd could only managed 5th where normally he is in the top 3. Mr Dodd catch was a reasonable 53 lb 01 oz from peg 44. Pole with maggot and corn over ground bait was his choice of tactics.

We find Nigel Coram in 6th from peg 43 with an all carp haul of 43 lb 05 oz. Pole and paste which had the flavour apparently of banana and apple. His words not mine.

Ian Townsend was in at 7 from peg 33. Meat was used for his silvers and feeder and pellet for his carp. This for a weight of 33 lb 14 oz.

Now good old Alan Jenkins to my left had a great day on feeder and pellet and done well on the silvers to finish 8th. He had 2 nice size carp to boost his weight to 26 lb 11 oz. Alan had 2nd top silvers weight to boot. All from peg 37. Good on yer mate.

Phil Dodd stayed on the feeder with dead maggot all day on number 38 peg and caught 23 lb 07 oz for his troubles. He took the match in his stride sat back and had a good few smokes.

Yours truly Slipped down the weights table from the last match to 10th place with a weight of 21 lb 06 oz. Feeder with worm or pellet was tried. Peg 36 was home for the day. It was 3rd top silvers for me and a £5 note.

Veteran Bob Pascoe and Silvers Maestro on peg 32 could only muster a catch of 16 lb 15 oz. Pole and corn was employed. Bob realises it’s the taking part that counts and as long as he can throw a few insults at people he couldn’t give two figs.

Way out of from and at the wrong end of the table was Dave Nash. Mr Nash who always concentrates on the silvers could only put 14 lb 04 oz on the scales. Caster and corn on the waggler from peg 30 was used.

Tony Richards was the wooden spoonist from peg 35. Tony took the pole and caster approach to eek out an all silver weight of 6 lb 02 oz. But apparently he had a good little kip.

Final results.
Top 6 Silvers weight.

The Bridgwater Docks.

Seeing the Bridgwater docks now bring a sense of great loss. The boats are now gone and a air of sadness has descended upon the place. The watercraft with their different colours, shapes, sizes and persona gave a certain type of relaxed ambience and a scene that was pleasing upon the eye. But now all that has now been trashed. A landscape of a character of industrial waste land have emerged with all the charm and sophistication of an unflushed toilet. An emptiness now prevails.

Before a place of charm and charisma.
Now look at it. A whole lot of emptiness.

But there is that subset of society that still utilises the docks. That subset we all know very well. That group which has been embedded with a certain gene, a chemical make up of which says thou shall be angler. The angling fraternity which frequents the Bridgwater docks have grown in number. The popularity of this venue has soared owing to two facts, one is that the fishing is free and the second, the catches are well above average. There is even a face book group dedicated to fishing the Bridgwater docks. But when did fishing the docks began?

Early on in the last century the docks where famed for its Roach fishing. But for a considerable period the Great Western Railway Company which owned the water prohibited fishing. It was put forward that this followed an accident involving loss of life and claims for compensation.

In 1926 the secretary of Bridgwater Angling Association a Mr Arthur Allen, negotiated an agreement allowing the association the fishing rights, but with the condition that junior members be excluded. This was accepted with enthusiasm and it was felt that there was an advantage in not having youngsters on the quays. It meant that the docks became, once more, a popular venue for anglers.

At first the Roach remained conspicuous, but other fish came to the net. They included Tench, Perch, Rudd, Pike and an occasional Gudgeon. Harry Sutton a Bridgwater Angling Association committee member and Dentist (who has long since passed away) caught one weighing four ounces! regrettably it was returned to the water before it was realised it might have been a national record.

Mullet used to find their way in from the river when the dock gates where opened to shipping. They made an exciting contribution to the sport. As it may be expected , their feeding habits were uncertain, but when they were prepared to oblige it was a highlight of the season. This usually took place during a spell of hot weather and for a few days the activity was fast and furious. the really effective bait was a small worm found in the bed of the river. Digging for them was a somewhat messy business and some members appeared in a disreputable state.

As time went by pollution in the River Parrett increased and the shoals of Mullet became less and less. After ships ceased to enter the docks a concrete wall was built to replace a pair of worn out and leaking gates. This construction thwarted any more visits of fish from the river.

Another occasional visitor to the docks was a Salmon. Presumably it was attracted by the fresh water when a ship entered or left the docks. Seeing it rise was a diversion when sport was quiet. In 1922 one was seen in the canal at Widewaters. In one way it must have managed to get through the lock in the canal which was operational at the time. Unfortunately its fate was not known.

Bream made their appearance during the 1950s. It was followed by a decline first in quality and then later in the quantity of the Roach caught. Consequently, they became a more important quarry to the docks angler. the sport appreciated and very fine specimens were taken.

More recently (1960s early 70s) it seemed that there was a possibility of very good Carp fishing. Several large fish was captured with rod and line. In 1974 a fire in a nearby building was the cause of deoxygenation of the water and fish were seen in distress. Whilst rescue operations took place some exceptional specimens of over twenty pounds were netted. Unfortunately expectations were dashed by the emptying of the main dock for repairs and conversion in to a marina.

There where certain hazards attached to fishing in the docks. Movements of ships could disturb the mud and silt and spoil a whole days sport and it was equally frustrating to bait a swim overnight and find a vessel moored on the spot the next morning. But the danger of drowning accidents was the real menace. So often the high walls made rescue very difficult if not impossible. In spite of the original prohibition youngsters would find there way in to fish. No-one wished to interfere with their enjoyment, but it was another matter when it led to members having to risk their own lives if a child fell in. For the elderly or less able the possible responsibility was alarming. In one tragic instance even a young member was drowned trying to save a child.

This is a scan from a 19 80 Bridgwater Angling license.
Note the Mullet record from the 1980 Bridgwater license.

The docks being within the town boundaries, convenience was a factor in its popularity, especially when car ownership was small. It had a retinue of habitues who assembled on summer evenings. “Nosey Lockyer was more than conspicuous amongst them. Here was a character with a notoriety only to well known, but he was an entertaining companion and by all accounts a good fisherman. A day with him could be very enjoyable and often memorable. It was one of his pleasures to regale all around him with reminisences of his various enterprises which occasionally got him in to trouble! He had a remarkable sense of sportsmanship. It was alleged that during a quiet spell in the sport his companion happened to say that he intended to catch one fish before he went home. Nosey’s response was immediate “right we will not go until we do catch a fish” the lighting on the quayside proved very useful as the required. fish was caught at three thirty next morning.

Dunwear Ponds update.

Fishing is now permitted once again in big pond owing to the algae bloom dying of. Railway will be fishable in about a weeks time owing to some remnants of blue and green algae. A works party will be active re-doing the banks which have become overgrown. South pond is due to be restock in February March time next year.

Well in true Bug’s Bunny style just to say that’s all folks.

Pete C.

Match fished On Tile Lake At the Sedges on 31st July 2021

First on the day was Carp maestro Eric Searle, put this guy on the right peg and bingo. He seems to go into overdrive and leaves every one in his wake. Today was no exception and from peg 25 which was also the golden peg smashed it with a very commendable weight of 139 lb 01 oz. His tactic was feeder to the island with pellet as bait.

A smiling Eric Knowing victory is at hand.

In second place was young Ian Grabham from Taunton. We have to keep an eye on this lad as he never seems to have a bad match and appears consistently in the top echelons of the results table. Today of of peg 37 Ian had a good total of 104 lb which included a nice carp of over 12 lb. He had two carp on the pole and paste but the vast majority of his catch was feeder to the island.

Mr Grabham we have to keep an eye on this Lad.

Mr Pete Curnow (for strangers to the blog, that’s me) found himself in uncharted territory by being 3rd in the results table, well saying that I did finish 3rd two matches back. But having relatively two short spaced placings is certainly a rarity. Well from peg 22 and using feeder and pellet to the island earned me a head spinning 81 lb 11 oz.

Yours truly.

Mr I am never far of the top found himself in 4th. One Steve Warren had a good day from peg 35. Steve kept things simple with pole and meat and found himself with a very good haul of 78 lb 04 oz.

Mr Steve Warren (left) with help from Rob Dodd.

In 5th place is a fella who seems to be suffering a bit of a lean spell. Rob Dodd normally resides in the top 3. But 5th place was where he finished today from peg 39. His total haul was a reasonable 75 lb 07 oz but not to be out done he obtained top silvers weight with a cracking 47 lb 07 oz. Rob fished the pole with maggot over ground bait.

Top silvers weight for Rob.

Mr Dave Colley our NHS hero who finished 6th was late getting to the match owing to traffic on the motorway. Dave who resides in Bristol left the motorway at Highbridge to try to make up for lost time but to no avail. He had peg 38 from which he managed to net 60 lb 01 oz from. Dave utilized pole and corn and at times feeder with pellet to the island.

7th was Alan Bland who fished peg 21 the first corner swim on the road side. Alan did struggle for bites but persevered and managed to eek out a descent weight from what seemed to be mediocre peg on the day. Pole paste and meat was the plan of attack that earned him a weight of 54 lb 12 oz. Not bad considering Alan went two and a half hours without a bite.

In 8th place we find Phil Dodd. Phil like Mr Colley arrived late and some one had to draw for him. When we got to his peg for the weigh in, he had packed up and gone. Hence I did not see him at all on the day. Mr steath indeed manged a weight of 52 lb 12 oz from peg 36. Knowing Mr dodd he probably used dead maggot on method feeder.

Silvers basher Paul Smith was 9th on peg 34. Pauls approach was pole, worm and soft pellet. Although finishing well down in the overall results he did have second top silvers weight. He managed to put on the scales 39 lb 07 oz.

Alan Jenkins who was next to me to my left on peg 23 enjoyed himself with a not to be snubbed at weight of 39 lb 07 oz. Alan who ended up in 10 th place employed mainly the feeder and pellet.

Dave Nash found himself on corner peg 40. Ending up at position number 11 he put on the scales 32 lb 01 oz. Just using top 3 with maggot and caster got him his weight.

Bob Pascoe finished in 12th with a weight of 27 lb 07 oz . From peg 24 on the roadside veteran Bob caught his carp on sweetcorn and his silvers on pole and maggot.

Another angling veteran fishing on the day was bee keeper Tony Richards. Ending up in 13th spot from peg 32. Tony put a weight of 18 lb 04 oz on the scales. In his own words it was “caster, meat and feeder”.

The results Table.
Top silvers.

Way back in the mid to late nineties a series of VHS videos called The Compleat Angler were produced by a company called Artsmagic ltd. This was series of angling videos presented by top rated anglers covering certain topics within our beloved sport. Different videos in the series became available every two weeks in newsagents and if memory serves me right I think there was twelve in all.

There is one particular video in this series that should strike a chord with local anglers in the Bridgwater area. The aptly named Stoned With Hemp. This video was made on the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal at Smithies. Mike Stone who at the time was an England Squad member presents this little gem and shows the ins and outs of fishing hemp. The running time is approximately 60 minutes. Now I did buy the video at the time but unfortunately over time it has become lost. However as luck would have it I came across a copy on E bay and had it converted it to DVD. Now folks I would love to down load it to You Tube but I am erring on the side of caution here reference copy right laws. But to give you lovely people a insight I have have taken a few screen shots. I will look in it to see if it is possible to put it on You Tube.

I had the pleasure last Tuesday to talk to the ex chairman of Bridgwater Angling Association one Mr John Hill. I paid him a visit and what should of been an half hour chat turned into a hour and a half chinwag. The highlight of this meeting was that John who is a sprightly 87 lent me a booklet for me to copy by a guy called Harry Sutton entitled The Bridgwater Angling Association And Some Remarks About The local Fishing Over Many Years. Yep that’s the Full title all 14 words. Well it’s intriguing reading and I shall put some extracts in a post or posts on the subject of the history of the Bridgwater Angling Association in the near future. So it’s a case of watch this space.

Well that’s all for now so it’s tight lines to one and all.

Pete C