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.

Watchet Angling Defeated By Cwmbran In The Bait Tech Cup. Fished on Saturday 29th May 2021.

They came, they fought and they conquered. The angling might of the Cwmbran Nobblers were the opponents of the minnows of the match fishing world the humble Watchet Angling club. The competition was the first round of the Bait Tech cup which is run with the help of the Angling Times and was formerly The Van der Eynde cup.

The venue for this angling mismatch was non other than Avalon fisheries. The Watchet Club was split in to two teams. Those who finished in the top six of last years league table became The Watchet Black team, and the next six became the Watchet Red team but alas some of the Watchet guys who finished in the next six had other plans. So some of the Watchet team where made up of two guests Jamie Cooke of Sedges fame and our good friend and ex member from Dorset John Barker.

Hence it was Watchet Black versus Watchet Red versus Cwmbran Nobblers.

The Cwmbran Nobblers ,Wales finest .

There were six sections of three anglers, one angler from each team. The winner from the section would get one point, second placed angler would get two points and the angler who came last would obtain three points. Just for the record if an angler blanked the poor sod would get four points.

So the team with the lowest points would be the winner. Simple.

The results.

PegAnglerTeamWeightPoints
23Eric SearleWatchet Black14 lb 09 oz 3
21Jamie CookeWatchet Red59 lb 1
20Ian DriscollCwmbran nobblers37 lb 11 oz 2
PegAnglerTeamWeightPoints
19Rob DoddWatchet Black15 lb 09 oz 2
17John BarkerWatchet Red9 lb 03 oz 3
16Phil WeaverCwmbran nobblers64 lb 11 oz 1
PegAnglerTeamWeightPoints
14Phil DoddWatchet Black6 lb 07 oz 2
13Bob PascoeWatchet Red4 lb 10 oz 3
12Rob SkellettCwmbran nobblers42 lb 01 oz 1
PegAnglerTeamWeightPoints
11Ian TownsendWatchet Black50 lb 13 oz 1
10Dave NashWatchet Red5 lb 08 oz 3
9Martin ChallengerCwmbran nobblers30 lb 03 oz 2
PegAnglerTeamWeightPoints
7Alan BlandWatchet Black29 lb 08 oz 2
6XXXXWatchet RedXXXX 4
5Martin ThomasCwmbran nobblers59 lb 07 oz 1
PegAnglerTeamWeightPoints
4Paul SmithWatchet Black13 lb 01 oz 2
3Pete CurnowWatchet Red11 oz 3
1Shaun WilsonCwmbran nobblers48 lb 09 oz 1
The final team placings.
The top three anglers on the day.
Top rod a smiling Phil Weaver.
This is Mr Weaver fine net of Silvers, weighing in at 22 lb 06 oz.
Job done. Martin Thomas who claimed 2nd.
Jamie Cooke on the left got 3rd spot.. On the right is team captain of the red team Dave Nash.

Points to note

Poor Shaun Wilson who drew peg one set up and owing to the forces of nature had to relocate to peg two. What only can be described as white fluff falling from trees deciding to accumulate in his swim, making it totally unfishable.

The Watchet Red fished with a man short owing to the fact Dave Colley couldn,t make it because he had to visit a sick friend. Dave would’ve been on peg six.

Now the eagle eyed amongst you would’ve notice that yours truly on peg three had managed an abysmal weight of only 11 oz. Yep once again I managed to win the unenvied prize of the wooden spoon, and this time I managed to do it in some style. But for the record and this is damage limitation shall we say, the previous two years in this competition I managed to win my section.

Hence as you can see both the Watchet teams where firmly put to the sword by a truly professional and competent performance by the Cwmbran Nobblers. The Cwmbran Nobblers now go through to the next round. A final word, I found the Cwmbran side a most friendly bunch of guys indeed, they were very chatty and most accommodating and very approachable and were a pleasure to fish against regardless of the result. Just one small disappointment though being Welsh I was expecting at the the end of the match a nice rendition of Man of Harlech. But no doubt they had other other things on their minds such as getting home and having a celebratory drink of a pint of Allbright bitter.

Once again guys well done and all the best for the next round.

Ardent readers of this blog will know of my interest of the goings on at Dunwear ponds and the making of the Railway pit into a match lake. Well I was given permission by the chairman of Bridgwater Angling Association to get on to the far bank which is currently closed to members of the club and to take photos and a video. The plan is to have the match lake up and running by June the 16th. There are plans I’ve been told to make a car park just as you go in to the Sedgemoor road end . Also I have been told that there are plans to build a bridge from the proposed car park to the far bank on Railway pond but we will have to wait and see.

The next match for the Watchet club will be Saturday June 5th at Trinity Woodlands.

So see you then.

Pete C.

Amendment

This post was published late Monday morning. I goes to work at 2 pm and at 7:45 pm I get asked by the boss if I want a early finish so I says “yes”. So I ‘m thinking I have a change and go home via Dunwear ponds instead of my normal route. So I get to the main gate to the ponds of of Dunwear lane. I look at the gate and me thinks there is a new notice so I takes a picture. See below.

So then forget about June the 16th. It is likely that the Railway match lake will be ready on July the 1st. Oh well as long as it benefits the fish we can wait.

Pete C

Match Fished at Avalon Fisheries on 08 May 2021.

The Watchet angling ensemble decided to plonk their selves down at Avalon Fisheries for their biweekly meet up and have another shot at match fishing. The forecast of heavy rain did not materialize but a very gusty breeze was determined to have it say. Well put it this way it was easier for me to become Pope than to fish more than 7 meters out on the pole, enough said. Hence it was going to be this dastardly wind that was going to dictate tactics. I say tactics most of us just turn up with the assumption that anything goes and hope for the best.

Some of the Watchet mob.
“Bugger me you’ve got to admit he’s really crap at parking”

Now before we get in to the nitty gritty, the nuts and bolts of the excitement that occurred during the match I want to bring to your attention some laws and rules of the land that have for one reason or another have never been take taken of the statute book.

1. All beached Whales and Sturgeons must be offered to the reigning monach.

2. No person shall in the course of a business, import potatoes which he knows, or have reasonable cause to suspect, are from Poland.

3. It is illegal in Scotland for a boy under the age of ten to see a naked mannequin.

4. In the metropolitan police district, it is illegal to carry a plank of wood along the pavement.

5. The metropolitan police act of 1838 states that it is against the law to knock on some ones front door and run away.

6. You are not permitted to linger after a funeral has taken place.

7. It is against the law to have a pigsty at the front of your house.

8. It is an offence to beat or shake your carpet or rug in the street in London.

9. It’s still illegal to allow your pet to mate with a pet from the royal household.

10. You can be fined up to £1000 for hanging your washing across the street in the UK.

11. Members are not allowed to wear a suit of armour inside paliament.

12. It’s actually illegal to be found drunk in a pub.

Now there is a rule in match fishing which may seem strange to outsiders as the above laws may seem strange to us. The rule in question is that Pike do not count in matches. Well this ruling was probably viewed as an annoyance to Nigel Coram who was fishing on peg 12. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words so have a look below.

This is Nigel Coram with a Pike which he caught about 1:30 pm on chocolate orange boilie weighing in at 25 lb 12oz. With poser Dave Nash in the back ground who helped out in banking the fish.

The Results

In top spot and in his usual position was top rod himself Robert Dodd. Rob fished sweetcorn in the margins to his left for a very good weight indeed of 144 lb 01 oz. Rob fished end peg number 16. Good on yer mate. Well done bud.

Rob Dodd at the weigh in as Vic Bush and Alan Bland look on.

In second place was veteran Carp expert Eric Searle. Poor Eric was suffering badly with sciatica. But made up for it by hauling in 78lb 03oz for the runner up spot. Feeder and pellet was employed from peg 9.

Eric who was second approaching the scales.

3rd went to club secretary Alan Bland. Alan struggled most of the match but had a golden period at the end by fishing to his right from peg 1 with meat and maggots. His catch was a respectable 40 lb 09 oz.

Alan who is using fag ash to boost his weight.

In to 4th was Ian Townsend. Ian used corn in the margins at peg 10 and put 33 lb on the scales. I noted that Ian was a tad disappointed with his catch, I haven’t the foggiest why. Think on the bright side mate, in terms of match fishing it could be worse, you could be me.

Ian who got 4th.

NHS hero Dave Colley obtained 5th from peg 6. It was pellet and feeder for the Carp and pole and maggots at a short distance for his silvers. Total weight for Dave was 30lb exactly.

“flipping heck is that all I’ve caught”

The guy who hit the headlines for this match one Mr Nigel Coram weighed in the 6th highest weight from peg 12. Feeder and 8mm boilie got him 28 lb 04 oz. Once again I am indebted to this gentleman for helping me get my top 2 kit back after it fell into the water. Thanks mate.

Mr Coram looking at the scales.

With a weight of 28 lb 02oz was Paul Smith who found himself in 7th from peg 5. Paul caught 3 Carp on the feeder with 8 mm pellet and used the short pole with worm for his silvers.

Paul waiting to weigh his catch.

8th place was Bob Pascoe. This silvers bagger got the top silvers weight of 13 lb 09 oz. Method employed was 5 sections out on the pole and red maggot as bait. However to his annoyance he did land 2 Carp which put his total up to25 lb 05 oz. Bobs peg was number 3.

Bob Pascoe who had top silvers weight.

Dave Gartenfeld found himself at 9th on peg 14 with 4 Carp caught on bread. In his own words ” landed 4 lost 4″. Total weight for Dave G was 25 lb 01oz.

Mr Gartenfeld at the scales.

Yours truly on peg 13 (unlucky for some as the saying goes.) was 10th. I Fished top 2 plus 2 with red maggot. I obtained a total weight of 19 lb 13 oz, this consisted of a silvers weight of 10 lb 09 oz and one Carp which was hooked 5 minutes from the end of 9 lb 04 oz. I got £8 for 2nd silvers weight yea. Sorry but I don’t have much to boast about in match fishing terms these days.

Guess who?

Stalwart Alan Jenkins was 11th who as some of you guys know is not in the best of health, caught a weight of 13 lb 10 oz from peg 4. Worm and pole was used for his silvers, whilst feeder and banded pellet was employed for his Carp.

The old stalwart himself Mr J.

Happy go lucky Phil Dodd was 12th from peg 7 with a weight of 8lb 14 oz. Phil used the waggler with double maggot over hemp.

One Mr Phil Dodd.

Dave Nash who appeared to have had a torrid time gave up the ghost, packed up and went home early. But he did contribute by helping Nigel bank his Pike.

As some people know I spend some of my spare time doing charity work with the Inland Waterways Association (IWA). Look at the post on the subject from about a year ago. In short we hang out at Bridgwater Docks and do all sorts of activities such as litter picking, painting and grass cutting etc. Owing to my connections with the IWA I often get asked about the situation with the on going events at the docks.

Well the Canal and River Trust (CRT) used to lease the docks from Somerset County Council (SCC) but now the CRT have given the lease up blaming maintenance costs. However, boat owners were handed notice to remove their vessels from the docks by the end of April, with discussions ongoing about what they do in the future. Some owners have removed their boats out completely and will set up at other venues , but apparently the remainder will move their boats up the canal and moor up at suitable places.

But the strong rumour now is that the docks will be drained so that the dock walls can be inspected for insurance purposes. That folks is all I know.

Here is a video that I recorded on my mobile phone of a barge being taken out of the docks on Tuesday the 4th of May 2021. I advise you to turn the sound of as it was quite windy. It was one of four taken out that day.

Work at Dunwear ponds is still ongoing and the plan is that fishing platforms will start to be erected in the Railway pond come match lake next weekend. Net dips have now been placed at the entrance to North pit and south pit.

This is one of the net dips at the entrance to South pond.

Just a reminder for the Watchet members that match fees are due at the next match, which will be at Sedges Brick on Saturday May 22nd.

So until next time tight lines.

Pete C

Avalon Fisheries 15/08/2020

Driving along the road between Shapwick and Avalon Fisheries on the way to the match and thinking of the tactics that I should employ that would enable me not to obtain last place some thing in the distance caught my eye. It looked like a van parked at the side of the road. As I approached carefully I notice two more vehicles also parked up. Ha you bastards sheep rustlers I thought. My plan was to drive past at a speed quick enough to run one of the sods over and slow enough to get one of their number plates. But alas the situation was not so intense, as I drew up along side I saw the faces of three anglers from the Watchet club. Ian Townsend, Dave Searle and Dave Gartenfeld. A problem had occurred, poor Dave Gartenfeld’s car had thrown it’s rattle out of the pram and decided that forward or backward motion was not part of it’s task any more and took the option of buggering up the gear box all by itself. So an arrangement was made that Dave Searle would tow Mr Gartenfeld’s defunct car to the car park at Avalon Fisheries. I would lead the way and Ian would bring up the rear.

The road of infamy.

We arrived at the car park at Avalon and managed to push it in to a parking space. Unfortunately Mr G’s car took on all the characteristics of the Torrey Canyon. (look it up if you don’t know). The oil which was leaking from the car became a concern as to believe it could seep into the lake. So once again with human muscle we pushed it to the opposite side of the car park. However when the owner turned up and realized the situation he developed an expression of Why the f**k me. So with wheel barrow, spade, grit and gravel a barrier was built to avoid disaster.

The original parking space of Dave G’s car, which then had to be moved away to the other side of the car park. Note the green chairs that were placed to stop further parking. just to the right you can see the barrier of grit and gravel that was hastily built.

To cut a long story short and fair play to Dave G and in true spirit he decided to fish the match regardless.

The match has now finished and step forward Mr David Colley. Dave with kind heart and conscious took it upon himself to go to Bristol to get a trailer, come back to Avalon Fisheries load up Dave G’s car and drive to Watchet the abode of Mr G. Now bare in mind that Dave Colley lives in Bristol. So it is on this premise that every member of Watchet club gets down on one knee dons their cap and gives him grace. A true and fine gentleman indeed.

Our hero the one and only Dave Colley.

The results

1st Was none other than the fishing Guru himself Rob Dodd. This guy acquired the coveted achievement of the double bubble. Top weight overall and top silvers. Rob fished his beloved method the pole. His silvers haul was acquired by fishing top 2 plus 2 with corn and worm. His carp came from the margins on corn. Rob occupied peg 16.

Mr Rob Dodd the winner make what you want with this pose?

2nd was paste master and match secretary Alan Bland who fished mainly for carp but in his own words struggled. He put on the scales just a tad over 33 lb. He did have a descent bream which was slightly under 4 lb. His home for the match was peg 12.

2nd placed Alan Bland.

3rd was ex paratrooper Bob Pascoe on peg 6. Bob who normally fish for silvers managed to land a carp in the region of 10 lb. He had third top silvers haul of 18 lb 08 oz and 14 lb 12 oz of carp.

Bob Pascoe at the weigh in who managed 3rd.

4th was Dave colley who fished mainly the feeder with maggot and pellet landed a creditable total weight of 31 lb 07 oz. From peg 5.

Our hero Dave Colley weighing in with the help of fishery owner Vic Bush.

5th was Ian Townsend who on peg 4 (not the best of pegs) tipped the scales for 30 lb 07 oz. I believed he had a few carp in the margins.

6th was Paul Smith who fished mostly pole at various distances with worm on the hook amassed a total of 26 lb 03 oz. This was achieved on peg 9

7th was yours truly on peg 7. I was pipped by 2 oz by Mr Smith for a weight of 26lb 01 oz. My method was 7 meters straight out on the pole sloppy ground bait with corn. I managed to obtain 2nd top silvers for a cash prize of a life changing amount of £8, yea.

8th was Eric Searle on peg 13 had an all carp haul of 23lb 12 oz. Eric fished the pellet feeder.

9th on peg 11 with an all silvers haul was Dave Nash, Dave employed mainly caster for bait for 15lb 03 oz.

10th place went to Pete King who used mostly pole with maggot and pellet from un fancied peg 3

But managed to eek out 14 lb 04 oz in total

11th was veteran angler Phil Dodd who was end pegger. Phil employed just the waggler on peg 17 and managed to weigh in 9 lb 05oz

12th in the weights was Dave Gartenfeld with 4 lb 12 oz from peg 10. But to be fair Dave had other problems on his mind so we can’t read any thing in to this placing.

Dave Searle caught three small roach but did not bother to weigh in. Dave fished peg 14.

Thanks Jeff.

On a final note I want to say a big big thanks to this guy here. This is Jeff Sparks who was fishing the other match which was taking place on same lake. Jeff a good friend of mine took time out before the start of his match to pay me a visit and give me some very useful tips which helped me to gain 2nd top silvers weight. Thanks mate.

Next match is on Saturday the 29th of August on KSD Parchay. See you there.

Tight lines

Pete C.