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