One of Watchet Angling Blackest Days

“Looks like were in with a chance of bagging up”

There were 7 intrepid anglers who turned up to fish the winter league match on the river Huntspill at Gold Corner. The conditions were far from idea, the weather was cold and the wind was almost none existent, to use the old adage it was like a mill pond. The river itself was about 3 foot down from its normal level. This was helpful because it made it possible to get right down to the waters edge and fish reasonably comfortable. On the other hand if it was at normal level it would have been almost impossible to hold a match here because the nature of the steep banks.

My peg. Like a mill pond it was.

The 7 anglers which included yours truly of course went through the process of doing the draw, of going to ones peg, of setting up, of settling down and waiting for the whistle.

Now from a personal angle the peg I drew out of the hat was number 1 which was closest to the bridge. Now people who know Gold corner will know that the bridge houses the pumping station whose purpose is to pump flood water from the south drain in to the Huntspill which then carries on out to sea.

Owing to the configuration of my peg and a rather large bramble bush behind me it was nigh impossible to fish the pole, so the waggler was employed instead. The fishing box was positioned appropriately, ground bait was mixed, waggler rod was set up, the depth was plumbed, an area was decided to fish and the float was shotted exactly right, I was all set ready to go. With a few minutes to spare I surveyed the water in front of me. As mentioned before it was like a mill pond. I knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, but I was quietly confident that I would catch something, even a Ruffe or 2. My mood was optimistic and blanking wasn’t deemed an option. The whistle was blown and I casted in. Almost straight away Dave Colley in peg 2 to my left spoke “crikey what’s that” and pointed towards the bridge. Now they say a picture is worth a 1000 words.

At 09:59 AM.
At 10 :00 AM
At 10:01 AM

The water in front me became a swirling mass of eddies, vortexes and whirlpools. The chances of me catching fish now went from an extreme form of maybe to the same chance as me becoming pope. One would cast in and to dampen down my, shall we say annoyance would play a game, the game in question was guess which direction the float would go. Would it go to my left, or to my right, would it come back towards me or would it go out to the middle. it was now like fishing in a bloody washing machine. A plan of action was now needed. A plan was concocted and implemented. In terms of the Borg in Star Trek The Next Generation. Resistance is futile. So the white flag was raised and a despondent yours truly did not pack up immediately but had a good old chin wag with good old Dave Colley from peg 2 who was also affected. In fact as time elapsed every one fishing would become affected. Dave Nash came to visit about 20 minutes into the match, he was on his way back to the car to get his coat as the temperature was falling. He informed us that no one had had a bite. Me and Mr Colley carried on with our quality gossiping. Come 11.15 I decided to give Dave Nash a visit who was end pegger on peg 7. As I passed every one, there was familiar body of words emerging which can’t be repeated here.

The so called match in progress.
End pegger Dave.

Dave was wearing a face of defeat. He reeled in his waggler to show me how much depth he had, it was barely two and a half foot in the middle. The prospect of fish obliging was grim indeed. Then the cracks started to appear. ” we have to tell Alan ( match organiser and beloved match secretary) it’s no good carrying on, we should all pack up and call it a day” Well with what was happening in my swim I was in total agreement. Walking back and passing everyone again it was plain to see that there was a mood of low spirits and a loss of hope. To cut a long story short, with the full agreement of every one. It was decided that all should pack up and bugger of. At 12 o’clock the bank was completely devoid of anglers as all had upped sticks and went on their merry way. No one but no one had had a bite.

No comment.
Sorry folks I just had to do it.

Now I can look on the bright side and put forward an element that the glass is half full. Here I will install a bit of subterfuge, a bit if you like, a slight deceit, some form of creative accounting. Here goes.

The saying goes that a good angler catches ten percent of the fish in his swim. I go with that. Now the conclusion is that there was no fish in my swim what so ever. Not one, nothing.

Ten percent of nothing is nothing and that is what I caught nothing. Enough said.

The unsung heroes of Bridgwater Angling Association who slog their guts out improving the swims and foot paths and delve in to the art of litter picking at Dunwear ponds have added a touch of finesse to their handy work. That of naming of some of the swims and putting up well crafted signs as part of the process.

I can well understand how certain swims have come to have certain names. But for the life of me Grey Tailors. I been scratching my heads guys and still none the wiser. So it answers on a post card please.

Well that all folks on the day after one of Watchet Anglings blackest days.

Tight lines Pete C

Match Fished at Combwich Match Lake on January 8th 2022

During the early 16th century a explorer by the name of Ferdinand Magellan decided to up sticks for a while and with the knowledge that it was impossible to sail of the edge of the world took his ship to the west coast of South America and sailed south. He ended up at a place he named himself called Tierra Del Fuego. Tierra Del Fuego is an archipelago at South America’s southern most tip. This Island group contains the famous Cape Horn and is home to the southern most settlements on earth out side Antarctica. The climate at these latitudes can only be described as cruel. The place is whiplashed by gale force winds and soaked by rain most of the time, the temperature rarely achieves 9 degrees in summer. The weather of Tierra Del Fuego has the classification by the meteorologists as a sub polar oceanic climate. This inhospitable climate has the same characteristics as the weather in the Faroes Islands and northern Iceland.

Mr Ferdinand Magellan.

Whilst there old Ferdo come across the native indigenous people called the Yaghan . Now these people were a very remarkable people indeed, they were remarkable not for any ground breaking scientific discoveries or that they built vast cities adorned with the latest technological achievements. No it was quite the opposite, they were remarkable by how extremely primitive they were. So primitive in fact that there wore little or no cloths, this could be deemed a money saver by the outside world, but alas this concept was completely lost on these people because they hadn’t even discovered currency either. These people were renowned for their complete indifference to the cold weather. These guys were often observed to sleep in the open completely unsheltered while the Europeans explorers shivered under blankets. This strange way of life came about because over time the Yaghan people had developed a significantly higher metabolism than the average humans allowing them to generate more internal heat thus helping them to combat the harsh conditions.

Hi guys want to fish a match I’ve just a place that will suit you right down to the ground

Well the match fished by the intrepid members of the Watchet Angling club on Saturday January the 8th could of done with the same DNA as the above members of the Yaghan tribe. For the weather that had to be endured at the Combwich match lake could only be described as sub polar oceanic. The wind howled, the rain poured and the knife sharp cold made a persistent presence. In other words and to cut straight to the ordinary bare bones language the weather was crap, very crap, bloody awful. So the six anglers who’d seemed that they had nothing better else to do may have lacked some of the DNA of the Yaghan people but this was probably counter balanced by the so called insanity gene.

The draw for the match was a rover or what some people refer to as a London draw.

so the order of choice of peg to fish was as follows.

Dave Nash

Pete Curnow

Alan Bland

Eric Searle

Paul Smith

Dave Colley.

The map of the match.

First on the day and no stranger to top position was ” I’ve got a new pair of water proofs” Paul Smith. Paul had a really cracking weight owing to the so called inclement weather of 9 lb 6oz. Top angler Paul fished at 13 meters with pinkie over F1 dark ground bait.

The winner.

In second place was none other than renowned silvers basher Dave Nash. Pinkie over once again F1 ground bait did the trick. Dave fished at varying distances and to his left. Dave ‘s not to be snubbed at weight was a healthy 5 lb 6oz.

Mr Nash.

With a jaw dropping 7oz yours truly found himself in a very remote 3rd place. I struggled at first (obviously) but after observing small fish topping I played the get out of jail card, I put on a very light rig and proceeded with a tactic which one see as damage limitation. I ended up with between 40 and 50 fish which appeared to be Bleak and Minnow hybrids. These microscopic creatures were lured to my keep net with pinkie and a Sensas ground bait could Ablettes.

A mind blowing 7oz.

Alan Bland our much beloved match secretary decided on a swim at the opposite end to the car park. Now Alan did catch fish, unfortunately they were Carp and our winter league being a silvers only did not count. But Mr Bland did manage to catch one small Rudd which was estimated to be 3/4 oz. The little beast got Alan 4th spot.

Alan just before the of.

Poor poor Dave Colley our much liked NHS hero had a torrid time. So much in fact that he couldn’t even muster a bite. Hence total weight of fish was zero. Poor Dave who now resides in Bristol hence he has a bit of a drive to get to some of the matches, summed it up “it made no difference to my weight if I stayed here or stayed at home”. But what ever the outcome he always wears a smile and certainly flies the flag for the “lets give it ago brigade”.

Dave Colley our much liked NHS hero giving it a go.

Eric Searle who decided to fish the opposite bank to most other people gave up the ghost an hour before the end. But one most give this guy some credit to turn up in the first place.

For it must be said that Eric does suffers from poor health and to last as long as he did in the appalling weather should be an effort of note. So see you next match mate.

This is Eric (honest) who put in an effort.
The results table.

With the match finished and most of the gear packed away it was time for the end of the match chin wag. The main topic was where to fish the next match. Well a few suggestions were made such as the KSD or the canal, I even suggested the South drain at Shapwick. But it seems likely now that conditions permitting it could be Gold Corner either on the Huntspill itself or the Cripps river. But failing that owing to our ability to endure there is always the southern tip of South America and the wonderful Tierra Del Fuego.

A probable next venue.

Once again the unsung heroes have been out and been applying their charitable efforts to improving the swims at Dunwear ponds. This jolly gang has greatly improved the gate swim which is located at the back of railway pit and is the swim nearest to the entrance on Sedgemoor road. The swim has been widen considerably and has been raked and cleared of most debris. Even up to the bank to the left which backs on to houses were a boat was needed. So once again guys a big big thank you from all concerned.

What a happy and cheerful lot these are.

It must be stressed the above people were not the entire gang, at the time this photo was taken there was some more volunteers improving the aptly name High Up swim on railway pit, so it hats of to them as well.

Swims like these are made by a group of people willing to give up their spare time for the benefit of other peoples enjoyment.

Well that all folks, take care and don’t forget to change your cloths.

Tight lines Pete C.