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.

Storm Arwen and the Irish Connection.

Storm Arwen as predicted had surely arrived with storm force winds which wouldn’t look out of place of the tip of Cape Horn and knifing cold which would be more at home in Siberia. Well with these conditions what type of people would actually be mad enough to fish a match. Take you pick from the list below.

1) Ones IQ is roughly the same as one shoe size.

2) Ones brain cells are misfiring in all directions.

3) Once arrived at a psychiatric hospital and was instantly turned away as a lost cause.

4) You actually counted the green hairs on the palms of your hand.

5) Searched for a gas leak with a lighted match.

6) Believe in father Christmas.

Originally this match was scheduled to be fished at Parchay on the KSD but owing to the fact that no one wanted to be guy roped to the bank and also as some one suggested because of the inclement weather it would be like fishing mid ocean. Hence the venue was changed to the match lake at Combwich. Probably the only sane element about this match.

A group discussion on how one managed to avoid the men in white coats.
Cheer up Eric and have a coffee.

In number one spot by a mile was one of the end peggers Paul Smith. Mr Smith Esq amassed a very creditable bag of silvers which tipped the scales at 9 lb 6 oz. In amongst his haul, a bit of a surprise this, was a handy size Tench caught at 8 meters. Paul although caught most of his fish at 13 meters alternating between maggot and pinkie. Hearty congratulations to him on what turned out to a very good weight on a extremely difficult day.

Well done Mr Smith.

2nd place want match angling stalwart and club secretary Alan Bland. Alan fished to his left from one of the pegs nearest the car park. He struggled in the first part of the competition but the sport picked up later on. Alan bagged a weight of 3 lb 11 oz.

Alan with his trade mark fag.

Dave Nash was 3rd with a catch of just 15 oz he had according to the watchet angling grapevine all his fish in the first hour and a bit.

Eric the carp bagger Searle struggled through most of the match. His result says it all 1 skimmer for 8 oz which was caught in the first hour then now’t. Nothing, not a sausage.

Mr Nash auditioning for Phantom of the Opera.

Yours truly had a more active time then most, yea straight up. I reckon I caught between 30 and 40 fish. Unfortunately in this game size does matter and on this occasion and in angling terms I wasn’t all that well endowed. My weight came to a meagre, a scantly 6 oz.

Making use of my telescopic lens.

Dave Colley our beloved NHS hero who resides in Bristol threw in the towel with about an hour to go. I had a thoughtful visit before he went. In his hand he had his total catch. About 5 or 6 small micro Rudd which appeared to be a day old. I duly took a photo, with that instead of donating them to John West he threw them back. Nothing wrong in that I hear you say but unfortunately when it comes to throwing them back Mr Colley is not all that accurate and all of his fish landed in my keep net. When it came to the weigh in it was decided not to take any action because the fish were that small it wouldn’t made the blindest bit of difference anyway.

It’s the taking part that counts Dave.

Before the match it was decided to do a so called London draw or a rover. Six anglers, so six pegs went in to the bag numbered 1 to 6. The person who pulled out peg 1 would have first choice to where to fish, the guy who pulled out peg 2 would have second choice etc etc and the poor guy who pulled out peg number six would have to take what was left.

Now it seems there is a slight connection with me who pulled out peg one and ended with a meagre 6 oz and this joke.

Q Why is it that the Irish have all the potatos and the Arabs have all the oil?

A Because the Irish had first choice.

The results.
The map of the match.
I thought that after the match I would help empty some bins

The next match for the Watchet club is on the canal at Huntsworth on 11th December, draw at 8:45am fishing from 10am until 3 pm.

Until then take care, tight lines and top of the morning to yer.

Pete C.

Winter League Match Fished at Combwich Match Lake on 30 October 2021.

This was the first of nine matches in the Watchet Angling winter league. The general consensus amongst the gang before the start was that it was going to be hard going and it was believed that five pound would be a good target weight. Some of the folk fished midweek and the outcome was that although silvers made an appearance so did some carp. However a lot of over night rain might make things difficult we just had to wait and see.

Well there was you could say a bit of a shock today but emphasis is on the word bit. The shock was not cataclysmic but never or less the shock did register slightly on the Richter scale in the realms of angling. Eric Searle Carp bagger extraordinaire actually won a silvers match. Eric who was situated on peg number 3 fished out to his right to the rope at 11 meters with wait for it 2 maggots and 2 pinkies on the hook. Eric fished over ground bait containing both maggots and caster. This winner did fish the margins to his left for the first part of the match but in his own angling vernacular “could only get ninjas” ( small fish to joe public) . All in all with the conditions not exactly perfect Eric’s winning weight of 11 lb 09 oz was definitely not to be sniffed at. So it’s a big well done to him.

2nd place went to the fella on peg 7 which was occupied by silvers expert Paul Smith. Paul who’s weight was a tidy 8 lb 03 oz was obtained by fishing 2 lines at 11 meters over chopped worm with maggot or pinkie on the hook. Paul did try an inside line but caught only an eel.

Alan Bland our much beloved match secretary found himself in third from peg 6. Fishing at 11meters with red maggot either double of single, Mr Bland in the end managed to put 7 lb 02 oz on the scales. Included in his catch were a couple of nice small tench. However there was an observation made about our match secretary from Paul Smith who was in the next peg to Alan. “I have never known a guy to burp and break wind so much” An accolade that Alan just might be proud of.

Dave Nash who on arrivial seemed to take a fair while in deciding were to park. Driving in to the car park, then reversing back again Stopping on the track having a good look, then once again exiting the car park completely for about two to three minutes. At this stage a few club members who saw this performance honestly thought he had changed his mind and gone back home. But he did return to eventually draw out peg 9 and catch a weight of 6 lb 9 oz which got him 4th . Pole and his favourite method the waggler was employed. A fair amount of his haul was caught on the top three straight out in front. Red maggot was the bait.

Nigel Coram who finished 5th on peg 5 managed to put 4 lb 14 oz on the scales But fishing the peg was very difficult for poor Nigel. Owing to the characteristics and the position of the peg, sunlight shining on the water with the breeze making a strong ripple made seeing ones float very hard. So full marks for perseverance. Method employed was maggot over ground bait at 12 meters.

Yours truly one Pete Curnow struggled throughout on peg 8. I managed to put a measly 1 lb 10 oz on the scales. I started of on the waggler which at one stage seemed impossible to shot. Cast out and the float would stick out about and inch, add a number 10 shot and the bloody thing would sink. It had all the characteristics of some pole floats. However after much changing of different combinations of shotting, I managed to get it just right. However after and hour and a bit I managed with great difficulty to catch one small roach with the wag. So out came the pole and I started fishing the margins to my right and almost immediately caught a small Tench. To cut a long story short I stayed on this approach and had my fair share of micro rudd.

About 2 o’clock I hit a carp which on the the light elastic I was using I would have had more chance to become pope then to have landed it. So in the end I got snapped up. I stayed with the waggler for the last hour. Well I say the last hour, at 2.55pm the float goes under and it’s another bloody carp. Once again this time with the waggler rod I was using, a Drennan ultra light float rod which is capable handling 10 oz bottoms I had no chance. The action on this rod is superb for small fish. I once managed to hook a carp on this rod at Trinity Waters, I’d played it for 10 minutes and eventually got it to the net. But owing to the characteristics of the rod when I tried lifting the exhausted carp over into the landing net this rod just bent and bent and bent. With gritted teeth, closed eyes and praying like mad hoping the rod wouldn’t break I kept lifting the rod up but in the end the line gave way. So you see at 2.55 pm another carp and another snap up which happened almost immediately. So instead of setting up again I decided to pack up. The Combwich church clock chimed 3 o’clock so the whistle was imminent or so I thought. Mr Nash in the next peg along and with a look of bewilderment asked why I’d packed up.

Well at the draw I picked my peg out and more or less set out to get to my swim. But as most match anglers know, a lot of anglers loiter around immediately after the draw discussing and moaning how crap the peg they have just drawn is. But it was in this period a discussion took place and it was agreed that the match would be extended by half an hour until 3.30 pm. All well and good unfortunately no sod told me.

Dave Colley our NHS hero should be commended as this gentleman travels all the way from Bristol to fish the Watchet matches. But today there might have been a tiny element running around in his mind of was it worth it. For poor Dave could only put together 1 lb 08 oz for 7th place. Fishing on peg 10 Dave used the pole and maggot at varying distances, however to his credit he did land a small carp. But alias being a silvers only match it did not count. But what ever the out come Dave Colley always has a smile.

Poor Alan Jenkins at the end of the match decided not to weigh in his solitary fish a roach about 2oz and instead opted for DNWI next to his name. Alan however in the gist of things managed to land a couple carp. So he didn’t go home bored.

The next match in this winter league is down for November the 13th on the KSD at Parchay. But factoring in the inclement weathers ability to desposit vast amounts of rain and the expertise of the drain to turn itself in to a raging torrent, there is a probability that this venue might change to the canal at wide waters. So anticipating this scenario it is planned that on the 11th of November Alan Bland, Dave Nash and me will go down at midday and cut and rake swims out, but all is welcome to participate.

Tight lines to one and all

Pete C

Thwarted By Lemnoideae.

That group of social misfits, dropouts, pariahs and outcasts who find themselves under the collective banner of Watchet Angling club found that their match on the the Kings Sedgemoor Drain at Parchay had been switched to Combwich ponds match lake, owing to a mass invasion of Lemnoideae or Duckweed as it is known to the common man. There is a few interesting facts about this so called green menace.

Duckweed is eaten by humans in some parts of southeast Asia.

It contains more protein than soya beans.

NASA has identfied duckweed as a top candidate for growing food on Mars.

Duckweed plays a role in water conservation because the cover of duckweed will reduce evaporation.

Duckweed prolifergates by waterfowl and small mammals, transported inadvertently on their feet and bodies.

Researchers around the world are studying the prospects for using Duckweed as a source of clean renewable energy.

Duckweed removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus it may have possibilities in arresting global warming.

The Combwich match lake has been in existence for just less then 30 years. It came in to being as a result of a causeway being constructed and dissecting part of the so called shallow end of the main lake. It is now a fully mature venue with potential. The lake itself has over 20 pegs and although it is named the Combwich match lake, matches are seldom held there and is normally frequented by the pleasure angler. The old pallets which where in a very sorry state have now been replaced but it has to be mentioned that not all the pegs on the lake consists of pallets. The peg fees is £4 per peg which is a bargain considering a Bridgwater day ticket is a fiver.

Steve Warren from peg 1 smashed it on the day with a very creditable weight of 47 lb 01 oz. His tactics was to fish right under the tree on the island opposite with banded pellet. Since this maestro has joined us, records show he has not been out the top 4. So well done to him, Mr consistent.

Eric Seale got 2nd from peg 11 with a nice weight of 31 lb 02oz, Eric employed the feeder with banded pellet. Eric must be commended because he is rarely out of the top half of the results table and this is achieved even though his suffers badly from very poor health. Poor Eric has a lung disease which makes breathing very difficult and on top of that he suffers also from that very painful condition sciatica. So a very well done indeed.

In third we find white man van Mr Nigel Coram with a haul of 26 lb 13 oz . This gentleman found himself on peg 5 fishing of the island that was in front of him. When ask about tactics employed his answer was all sorts and with that got a comment from a certain member of ” Bertie Bassett”!

Another consistant angler finished 4th. Mr Ian Grabham who always end up in the higher portion of the results table drew out peg 12. Ians main attack was to use the feeder with an assortment of different baits including wafflers. Ian weighed in 21 lb 06 oz.

Fifth place went to Paul Smith, Paul had a cracking all silvers weight which in the mix of things really stood out. Paul whose weight of fish came to 19 lb 12 oz used pole with maggot and pinkie from peg 10. As you might expect Paul had the top silvers weight and for his efforts won the goldern peg as well. Looking at the silvers table you can see that Paul won the silvers by a very big margin. So hearty congratulations to him.

We see that Ian Townsend made sixth place with a net of 18 lb. His main bulk of fish came on the feeder, fishing between the two islands with pellet. Although a reasonable weight was acheived he did go through long periods without a bite which made him use the word dire. In peg 13 he was my next door neighbour and whilst I was setting up had to put up with yours truly moaning to myself owning to things that were not going to plan. Sorry mate.

Placed in seventh was match secretary and birthday boy Alan Bland who is now 58 years young. Alan managed a weight of 15 lb 03 oz. It was a mixture of bomb and pellet and pole and maggot from peg 6. Unfortunately for Alan he will not be able make the next match owing to having to attend his mothers 80th birthday celebrations. Since the start of Watchet angling club many many moons ago Alan has only missed two. A stalwart of the club indeed.

Out of sorts Rob Dodd could only muster eighth place and in terms of the the results table finds himself in unfamilar territory. Rob who fished peg 2 just piped me by 2 oz for 3rd silvers spot. (little bugger). Rod for his net of fish of 11 lb 02 oz mostly used pole and maggot but did have one small Carp on worm.

Ninth placed was the one and only David Nash. Dave who always targets the silvers regardless, obtained a haul of 9lb from peg 3. Dave employed pole and maggot. Now this little scamp took great pleasure during the weigh by bombarding me with black berries. Right Nashie learn to sleep with one eye open else you might find a scorpion down your W Fronts.

Veteran Alan Jenkins was at number ten. Alan who had drawn peg 7 managed to land 4 small Carp for a weight of 8 lb 10 oz. Method used was feeder with banded pellet. Good on yer Al you don’t seem to finish bottom any more, things are it seems improving.

Yours truly finds himself in the basement part of the table once more at eleventh from peg 14. I had an all silvers weight of 7lb 2 oz which in terms of silvers wasn’t a poor weight. This weight consisted of mostly nice sized skimmers all taken on red maggot and ordinary waggler. I did start of on the feeder for an hour but to no avail. Hence in hind sight I wished I started straight away on the waggler, but as they say that’s fishing.

Now dear old Bob Pascoe finds himself with the bottom weight. Rob Dodd who helps with the weigh in looks into Bobs keepnet and with total amazement utters one of angling most famous phrases. “Is that it” Bob who had peg 8 could only be described as suffering from fish poverty. The poor chap could only catch one small Roach which didn’t even tip the scales. So the weighing in team from the kindness of their heart and smitten by sympathy gave him an ounce.

The results table.
The silvers table.

The unsung heroes of the Bridgwater Angling Association ie the volunteers of the works party have been busy once more. The swims which are known as Killer and Helicopter has had a revamp and now have been gated of. The helicopter swim believe it or not has a tiny bit of history attached to it, way back in the day this swim was known as the Point or the Headland owing to its configuration of jutting out in to the lake. This swim was by far the best swim in Dunwear. Way back in the 1970s different groups of anglers carpers and pleasure anglers alike from far and wide used to occupy the swim days at a time and even up to a week. This unfair tactic caused a lot of friction amongst anglers, so much so that Bridgwater Angling Association brought in a rule that no angler or anglers should occupy a swim for more than 24 hours. This rule of course has now been relaxed.

Railway pond is now open to fishing , but it has to be said that catches have been very disappointing to say the least. The pond hasn’t been fished seriously for many many years. I would say around about 20. The life span of the average coarse fish excluding Carp is between 12 and 15 years. So it can be concluded that an entire generation of fish have come and gone without even seeing an anglers bait. The fish now in the pond are now the off spring of this generation and to quote from one of the greatest books on angling ever written Still Water Angling by an angling giant who have long since passed away Richard Walker “You will see, therefore, that the commonly held idea that the less a water is fished, the easier the fish it contains will be to catch, is only really true of such fish as roach, rudd, bream and small perch”. There has been the odd skimmer coming out and the small roach and rudd. But give it time and this lake can become a little gem. Take for example the match lake at Combwich, last year the fishing was dreadful but this season the fishing has improved significantly. So just give it time.

Well that’s all folks

Tight lines Pete C.