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 Sedges Canal Lake on 19 June 2021.

Honestly it must be like playing whack a mole being a committee member of the Bridgwater Angling Association and for the water management team of Dunwear ponds. Go back a couple years and the Railway pond was given a major face lift, much effort was put in to hacking, chopping, cutting and good old fashion spade work to make the pond usable again. The Railway pond at the time was in what could only be described as in a terminal state of decay. There was only a couple usable swims left and three quarters of the pond was inaccessible owing to mother nature having her say. The far bank was prepared for the implementation of pallets to be installed.

But a problem reared its ugly head soon after, the unwanted arrival of Water Primrose . It took two intense efforts to eradicate this unwanted menace, but the battle was won. A month or two later and the the proposed platforms where installed on the far bank. The date of June the 16th 2021 was the date that was decided to open the pond up for fishing and the indeed for match fishing.

But once again as though it was predestined another situation occurred which was going to thwart the local angling fraternity. This time it was caused by the biological and psychological factors of the fish themselves. It appeared that the libido of the fish had upped a gear and at the beginning of the month the fish had started spawning, so and quite rightly so the angling committee decided to close the all the ponds at Dunwear for a month. So once again due to unforeseen circumstances the fishing was put on the back burner. So then there is no fishing now until July the 1st.

Okay people can live with that, no problems. But alias nature it seemed had put another trick on the table, that of the dreaded blue green algae. It first appeared in the big pond but has now emerged with all its nastiest in Railway pit, which I must say had been hit by this scrum particularly bad. So now fishing depends on when this algae decides to disperse.

It’s a pain in the ass because not only does it stop anglers from fishing it has a detrimental on the water itself.

As algae blooms, it can depletes the water of its natural oxygen. This lack of oxygen can lead to a dead zone or an area where aquatic plants and animals cannot survive.

It is very toxic, blue-green algae or cyanobacteria (a good word to have in scrabble) — can cause serious illness in humans and pets. Sicknesses such as these that are caused by algae are known as Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) associated illnesses. So the question is, what causes this bloody stuff?

The causes

The combination of factors that trigger and sustain an algal bloom is not well understood at present and it is not possible to attribute algal blooms to any specific factor. (this sounds like is a cop out from the scientists).

Nutrients

Nutrients promote and support the growth of algae . Excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water, frequently due to run-off from the land is considered a major factor. The main culprits are phosphorus and nitrogen.

In the landscape, runoff and soil erosion from fertilized agricultural areas and lawns, erosion from river banks, river beds, land clearing , and sewage effluent are the major sources of phosphorus and nitrogen entering water ways. All of these are considered major factors

Internal origin of nutrients comes from the lake/reservoir sediments. Phosphate attaches to sediments. When dissolved oxygen concentration is low in the water , sediments release phosphate into the water column. This phenomenon encourages the growth of algae

Temperature

Early blue–green algal blooms usually develop during the spring when water temperature is higher and there is increased light. The growth is sustained during the warmer months of the year. Water temperatures above 25°C are optimal for the growth of algae. At these temperatures, blue–green algae have a competitive advantage over other types of algae whose optimal growth temperature is lower (12-15°C).

Light Exposure and Water Movement

Along with food, algae require the right amount of light to thrive. Blue-green algae are so common because they have the ability to move throughout the water column and adapt to variable conditions. Algae will typically grow around the shoreline of a pond or lake because this is where the shallower water is.  You typically will not see algae growing in the middle of a 20 foot deep water body because that is too deep for the sunlight to penetrate.

Stable Conditions

Most of blue–green algae prefer stable water conditions with low flows, long retention times, light winds and minimal turbulence; other prefer mixing conditions and turbid environments (this could be applicable to big pit in Dunwear).

Turbidity

Turbidity is caused by the presence of suspended particles and organic matter (flocs) in the water column. High turbidity occurs when a lot of water is running through the system (high discharge after a rain event). Low turbidity occurs when there is only a small amount of suspended matter present in the water column. Low turbidity can be due to slow moving or stagnant water that allows suspended articles to settle out of the water column. When turbidity is low, more light can penetrate through the water column. This creates optimal conditions for algal growth. In return, growing algae create a turbid environment.

Taking in to account the above, why is Dunwear prone to this nuisance. Well could it be to do with run off from the railway tracks or the industrial estate next to Railway pond which is on Dunwear lane. Also bear in mind that there is a ditch that joins the Railway pond to the river Parrett which runs parallel to the industrial estate. Owing to the configuration of the Railway pond it does not really get a lot of wind on it. So called run of, and lack of chop on the water could be the main causes.

But what of big pit? Stand on the bank on big pit which backs on to south pit with a strong westerly wind and you notice quite a chop on the water. Well how does fit in with the above assumptions? Well after a bit of research I found that clay pits are very prone to algae blooms, owing to the fact that clay itself has a lot of locked in nutrients. Ask any gardener.

These nutrients can be unlocked by fish just rooting along the bottom or bank erosion which is common back of South pit. There is a lot of nooks, crannies, bays and little inlets in big pond which could be deemed ideal conditions. Scientist agree that one of the main effects is global warming and a chilling piece of information is that algae blooms are increasing 18 percent year on year. Will it happen again at Dunwear, who knows it’s just a case of watch this space.

Sedges Match held on canal lake.

Two weeks since the last match (cor done it go quick) and a certain subset of society who gather under the banner of Watchet angling club met once again and attempted to delve into the art of match fishing. There were 15 hardy souls of varying degrees of sanity who decided to throw their hat into the ring and give it ago.

1st on the day with a healthy weight of 41 lb 8oz was Rob Dodd. Rob who had been out of sorts lately found form again from car park peg 45. Bait employed was corn and maggot over pellet.

Just missing out on a few bob was 2nd placed Alan Bland. Alan pulled out of the hat peg 42 which happened to be the golden peg. Meat was the main bait and long pole and down the margin was his tactics.

Nigel Coram done well for 3rd spot from unfancied peg 53. He used pole at 13 meters and meat.

4th spot went to Steve Warren who fished pole from car park peg 43. In his own words “I had everything on meat” Mr Warren had top silvers weight of 13 lb 10oz so well done to him.

Phil Dodd who had favoured peg 41 came 5th. Phillip employed his usual tactic of method feeder with dead maggot.

Finding himself at number 6 was Paul smith. Paul who had peg 64 amassed a total of 26 lb 15 oz. Paul had 2 Carp on the tip and the rest on pole and maggot.

New kid on the block Ian Grabham was 7th, he had an okay day from peg 60 with a very respectable weight of 21 lb 07 oz. Maggots on the pole and fishing shallow with pellet got him his weight. Good old Ian brought some lovely chocolate cookies for the members to share, Good on yer mate.

Ian Townsend from peg 57 struggled until the last hour when he had a few Carp. Ian was placed at 8.

Bob Pascoe the silvers man had a bit of an odd day in that he had 1 oz in the sivers department, but made up for it in Carp Bob was placed 9th from peg 62.

Tony Richards who although in poor health bit the bullet and turned up. Tony had a torrid 5 hours without a bite but landed a few Carp more or less right at the end. Peg 51 was his home for the day and he finished in 10th.

11th position went to Dave Nash, he kept things simple with pole and maggot from peg 63.

Good old Alan Jenkins who is not in the best of health these day put in a spirited effort for 12th place. Alan mainly used the pole with various baits such as maggots worm and caster oh and meat. This was from peg 47.

At 13th place was yours truly from peg 49. Now a lot of anglers did not have most of their fish until the last hour. I managed to get my fish going straight from the start but there was just one problem, just a small problem you might say. All my fish was small, I even had 2 Carp and even they where small. I never worry about the big things, just the small things.

Last time out winner Eric Searle had better days. From peg 55 he didn’t catch much thus found himself in penultimate place.

Last but not least was NHS hero Dave Colley from peg 59. This guy does not seem to care about being the wooden spoonist as long as he still has the ability to wear a smile.

The final table.
The top five silver weights.

I know this blog post is later than usual but this was due to unforeseen circumstances.

The next match will be at Shiplate on Hawthorns on Saturday July 3rd so see you then.

So in the mean time don’t forget guys to change your clothes.

Tight lines

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

Match Fished at Landsend Fishery on April 24th 2021.

That group of social misfits, social pariahs and social outcasts who every 2 weeks congregate together and gel into the Watchet angling match group held a competition at Landsend Fisheries on the Match lake on Saturday April 24th 2021.

In top position at number one spot was one of the doyens of the local match scene Mr Paul Smith. This gentleman pulled corner peg number 13 out of the envelope. Fishing down the edge to his left and out in front at 11 meters, Paul put on the scales 60 lb 15 oz. He fished mostly with soft or banded pellet.

The victorious Mr Smith.

Ian Townsend made 2nd place from peg 12 which was directly opposite Mr Smith. Ian’s plan of attack was meat and corn down the edge. 45 lb was his weight of fish.

The red arrow points to Ian 30 seconds after the start whistle unhooking a Carp. In the fore ground is Alan Jenkins having a fag.

Fishing champ Rob Dodd who normally finishes in the top two found himself relegated to 3rd. Rob on peg 3 produced a weight of 38 lb 09oz. This was obtained by fishing to the island with corn over pellet.

Fishing champ Rob Dodd who was placed 3rd.

Finishing 4th was Nigel Coram on peg 5. Nigel employed mostly the pole and fishing caster shallow. He managed to get a nice lump of a Carp on paste. Total weight for Nigel was 29 lb 09 oz.

In at 5th was last time out winner NHS hero Dave Colley. From peg 15. Dave alternating with feeder and pole with baits of sweetcorn and maggot obtained a total catch of 27 lb 06 oz.

Octogenarian Bob Pascoe was 6th with a haul of 23 lb 12 oz, Red maggot on the pole was his method from peg 21. Bob bagged one Carp but lost another. Still not a bad weight.

This is Mr Pascoe, now who would believe this guy is in his eighties. This gentleman had the top silvers weight.

Brummie Dave Gartenfeld occupied 7th from peg 17. Tip and pole with maggot got him a weight of 18 lb 05 oz.

Eric Searle on peg 1 was 8th with a catch of 16 lb 05 oz swapping between pellet on the feeder and pole got him his weight.

Phil Dodd took things in to his stride by just using the waggler. Fishing on golden peg number 10. Phil had one Carp and 7 lb of silvers which came to 12 lb 05 oz. Maggot was his bait. He came 9th.

Slivers bagger Dave Nash came in at number 10 from peg 24, with an overall catch of 10lb 2oz. Dave fished at 8 meters on the pole alternating between single and double red maggot.

Match secretary Alan Bland came 11th with a weight of 7 lb 7 oz from peg 22. Poor Alan struggled and being Carp oriented was disappointed to only land one from the edge on meat. Also apparently throughout the match because of Alan’s predicament of shall we say lack of fish activity got untold abuse from the angler to his right not mentioning any names but it was Mr Nash.

Yours truly ended the match in my normal default setting, that of finishing in the bottom 3 at position 12. Whose cares I just take it on the chin and come up with the old adage ” there’s always next time” I had just 5lb 9oz of silvers from peg 7 but did enjoy myself which is the main thing. Landsend fisheries have under gone a restocking, and this was apparent in the make up of my catch. I had a lot of small Crucians and Tench around the 4 to 6oz mark which was different to the catches I normally experience from this venue. I fished at 8 meters and the bait was red maggot. I did hook one Carp which took me straight to the island where it decided to take up residence. So I found my self holding my number 2 section with the elastic stretching all the way to the island. (how many have found yourselves in that situation eh). But with some good advice from Nigel who was next to me on my left managed to retrieve the situation and in the end only lost my hook. Thanks Nigel.

Alan Jenkins on peg 9 found himself in last place with just 1 lb 14 oz of slivers. Alan did hook a decent size Carp on meat from the margins to his right. But it wasn’t Alan’s day after about 3 minute of doing battle the fish decided to slip the hook. Alan mostly fished the pole at 7 meters and now and then swapped to the feeder. It’s only fair to say that Alan does suffer from bad health and this is some times a handicap when it’s comes to fishing. But good on yer mate for showing a fighting spirit.

The final table.

Readers of this blog will know that I have been keeping an eye on events at Dunwear ponds in recent months. Talking to some of the people in the know about the goings on at these lakes, it is hoped that the Railway pond which now is going to be the match lake will be ready for June 16th. The proposed idea to let the swims that are on the public foot path in railway pond to return to nature will now not happen. These swims will now have pallets, the reason being is simply to increase capacity in terms of pegs. The planned car park at the Sedgemoor road entrance now seems more likely than not. All the swims in South pond have now been totally gated off so now South Pond is only accessible by the members and not the public. And on top of that large notice boards have been place at both entrances for the benefit of the members and public alike.

The pictures below show the gated swims on South pond back of big pit.

Below are photos of the swims in railway pit on the public foot path side that were going to be given back to nature but will now have pallets.

The next match for the Watchet club will be at Avalon on Saturday 8th of May. According to my calendar this day is down as Victory Day. Victory for who though? The next match after that will be on May 22nd at the Sedges on Brick lake.

So that all folks

Pete C

The Resurrection of Dunwear Ponds.

There has been a right mixture of noises emulating from Dunwear Ponds on and of over the past 18 months, in the form of banging, bashing, clattering, hammering , sawing and grunting. These sounds of human endeavour come from a feisty band of fishing diehards who it seems have the insight and determination to bring these ponds that are etched in the very foundation of the Bridgwater Angling association a major make over and to pull them in to the 21st century. Inertia has been dispersed and a get up and go attitude now permeates through the echelons of the Bridgwater club. This band of the type of new broom sweeps clean merchants has recognized the fact that Dunwear ponds as a fishing venue was in decline a mish mash of over grown swims and busted pallets, dog mess and litter and the odd used hypodermic. Having a public right away which cuts through the ponds from Sedgemoor Road to Dunwear Lane attracts a problem of social misuse. The lets plonk ourselves down at the waters edge and get pissed brigade who in their own minds thinks it’s okay to take over swims and spoil it for the rest seemed to have made the place there own. In terms of the average angler spending a pleasant days fishing and not worrying about ones safety had became the stuff of the once was. Dunwear had become a basket case. large areas of the fishery took on the air of redundancy. A place of times past.

So without pulling rabbits out of hats, common sense has prevailed and a simple solution has been implemented to stop the undesirables, that section of society who delve into the art of leaving litter beer cans and used needles. This little group has now been thwarted by…. well they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Another gate has been put up to thwart the public from entering parts of South Pit.

These gates do not cure the problem of public access entirely as some swims are still accessible owing to the problem of the public right of way. But never or less this is a start. And a very good start it is to.

The erecting of gates and fences are not the only things that has been going on at the Dunwear complex. The renewal of pallets have been taking place. Now I know that the Carpers of Dunwear has given names to the most popular swims and pallets such as slopey, killer, pylon and a few others to boot. But not being a member of the Dunwear Carping fraternity I haven’t the foggiest what the names of the two pallets that are on big pit and that you get to from the back of north pond. Well names aside these two platforms has also been replaced by the gang and a mighty fine job they have done to. Not the easiest of things to construct but never or less this noticeable achievement should not go amiss.

This is the left hand pallet as you approach the two pallets from the bank of North pond.
This is the the pallet on the right.
This is the path that leads from the back of North pond to an island and then on the other side of the island is a path of planks leading to the two platforms.
This is the path on the other side of the island leading up to the right hand pallet.
The Pylon swim has also been given a make over.

Another great example of the work being done at the Dunwear complex is the railway pit. This quaint little pond had through many years of neglect evolved in to a semi quasi nature reserve. This was the location of where many a youngster of the Sydenham Comprehensive school (pre early eighties) served his fishing apprenticeship. It was an easy lake to fish, and was a good water to fish in winter. All parts of the pond was accessible There was three good size swims on the far side i.e. the railway bank. But over the ravages of time and complimented by the encroachment of nature these swims became inaccessible and abandoned and later they just became fond memories. But a jolly band of volunteers have took hold of the situation and armed with spades, shears, chainsaws and a mini digger gave the good old railway pit a major sorting out. The effort has paid of and once again the far bank is now usable.

As you can well see that the far bank has been cleared. This photo has been taken from the Sedgemoor road entrance.
This photo was taken looking towards the opposite end from the Sedgemoor road entrance.

However at the time of writing the pond is still closed. This pond however had became the victim over the last few years with the dreaded water primrose, the aquatic equivalent to Covid 19. This beastly water plant which took root at the Sedgemoor road end is classed as an invasive species. This heinous bio mass has the ability to form a very dense almost impenetrable mat and once taken hold has the wicked ability to deplete the oxygen levels in the affected water.

A place where they had a very bad case of Water Primrose, thankfully this was not Railway pit.

It further releases chemicals that suppresses other organisms leading to a build up of toxins and the poisoning of the water itself. This demon of water is also classed as a economic pest as its growth can impede waterways, drainage systems, and cause flooding. So you can see that there was as you might call a bit of a problem. But owing to contractors being called in the situation has been eradicated. So one can say Railway pond has been through the mill in recent years but the light is at the end of the tunnel it seems.

Things in angling terms these days are up in the air. The third lock down has caused a bit of surprise and confusion. First of all on the announcement of a 3rd lock down it was thought that angling would be permitted by the government. But the government being the government at first said no. Even the non anglers at my place of work were surprised at the decision. But owing to the intervention of the voice of angling the Angling Trust (I am a member and I urged every angler to join https://anglingtrust.net/ ) Boris and co changed their minds. But It seems that some waters are open and some has decided to be kept closed. At the time of this blog Bridgwater AA are allowing fishing but Amalgamated Fisheries who owns Pawlett ponds first said yes and then a day or so later said no to the opening of their waters. Like wise Landsend fisheries has decided to stay shut so they can do some maintenance. But Sedges according to their Facbook page will be open. So the lesson here is before you go fishing is check.

Before I go there was a couple a of photos that I missed off from I think two blog posts back and that was of the river Huntspill and showing how bad things have got with this venue.

This is from Withy Grove bridge looking towards the motorway.
From Withy Grove bridge looking towards Woolavington bridge.

So you can see why Bridgwater AA are not paying for this water any more and who can blame them. Totally unfishable.

Tight lines

Pete C