Two Great Loses.

So once again we are enduring another lock down. Lock down number two. Not as bad as the lock down we had in March because we can still go fishing. But not Match fishing, unfortunately. Now one angling club based in the West Midlands, one with the name Hankat Angling Society thought that they would chance their luck and hold a match during this lock down period but it seems that they have come unstuck and have received a warning from the Canal and Rivers Trust about the possibility of losing their fishing rights. Here is the except from the Canal and Rivers Trust website.

The Canal & River Trust (CRT) have written to HanKat Angling Society, based in the West Midlands, after a fishing match was held on a local canal at the weekend in contravention of the new Covid-19 regulations which includes restrictions on attending or organising public gatherings of more than two persons, including  sporting competitions. This was backed up by the Environment Agency and the Police. The offence attracts fines of up to £10,000.

So basically it is not worth the risk.

On the 8th of November 2020 a piece of angling history passed away and what a sizable piece it was too. Joss Saunders was the embodiment of the local match fishing fraternity for many years. His match fishing credentials were sounder than the bank of England and his reputation undisputable. Yours truly was in a prime position to get to know the grand master as his sister Molly and niece Susan where neighbours back in my School boy days. Such was Joss’s standing even before I even dreamt about going fishing I knew about his angling accomplishments.

My first real dealings with Joss was when I was nine and Joss must have been approaching forty. Joss’s niece Susan was part tomboy and a solid member of the street gang, Sue who was a year older than me would always tag along with the gang when we went fishing. Well I had just graduated from the days of dead lining over at the now defunct local ponds (Bower) to being in procession of my first rod and reel. This milestone in my angling career was achieved by my dear old dad buying me a Winfield beginners float fishing set from Woolworths. This iconic symbol of cheapness just, just managed to stay within the boundary of practicability.

This so called package consisted of a 6 foot spinning rod with plastic handle, one of the most basic manufactured fix spool reels ever made, which came with line on the spool. A packet of size 8 hooks which had 2 barbs on the shank and a packet of drilled bullet s for weights and a float which had the same size and shape as a duck egg.

I just tackled the rod up in the garden to the best of my extremely limited angling knowledge when a happy go lucky Susan appeared. She seemed just as excited as me about having a fishing rod. She beamed ” Uncle Joss has just arrived to visit mum I’ll take the rod in and show him and see what he says”. With that she took the made up rod went up to their back door opened it and with some delicate maneuvering entered and when able to, closed the door behind her. Now bare in mind the set up. A size 8 hook tied to roughly 10 lb line and 2 round drilled bullet weights knotted on the line to cock a oval shape float which had the same volume of a coke can. This was on par with presenting a plate of toast with a topping of cold cabbage to Gordon Ramsay and saying “do you think I will make it as the head chef of the Savoy”, Or a scribbled picture of a match stick man and saying to Leonardo Da Vinci do you think it is worthy to be hung in the same room as the Mona Lisa.

I waited outside for what seemed about 5 minutes, Susans’s back door open once again and at first I was greeted by the top ring of my rod and then next ring and so on until Sue had fully emerged. Her face was expressionless.

“well what did he say”


“your uncle Joss what did he say”


“Sue what did he say”

“oh he said…… he said…… He said it was heavy”

” Heavy”

“Yea that’s right he said it was heavy”

“Is that all he said”

“Yea thats’s all he said, he just said it was heavy”

(Naivety now takes over)

” I reckon he means it’s for heavy fish”

Sue replied ” yea I think so too”

I think Joss was being some what diplomatic.

I got to know Joss better as time went on. When I started fishing the senior matches with the Bridgwater club he was still very active with the match scene and he still seemed an un movable colossus still ahead of the game. Not once did I ever beat Joss in a match, he was the bench mark. He set the standard in which many could never reach.

From the Bridgwater Mercury from way back in 1970.

Joss lived in Bristol Road just a few doors up from me and we became really good friends indeed, such that I spent many an hour sat in one of his arm chairs in his front room holding conversation and 90% of the time the topic of course was fishing. But one particular time we were chatting he leaned forward in his chair and pointed to me in an unformal way ” you know Pete even if I had won a match I would always reflect back and think how could I’ve improved things what could I’ve done better to put more fish in the net” These words where from an angler who had the compulsion, the will and drive to win to be successful and successful he was. Rest in peace Joss.

Note not a trolley in sight.

Last month I thought I treat my self and buy a brand new book. Buying a book that is new is as rare as yours truly having top weight in a match. Owing to the fact that my book buying is done amongst the plethora of different charity shops that seem to have taken over the town, the review of this book however warranted me to dig deep in to the depths of ones pocket and purchase A book called The National Angling Championships by John Essex. This is a book that is well worth the money as it has over 460 pages. Using this well written and well researched book I went and picked out the amount of times the nationals were held down this neck of the woods. Here’s the list.

Note the number of teams in 1965. The number of anglers who took part then was a staggering 1320. It hard to imagine a match of that size and complexity being held nowadays. And holding it locally is now totally out of the question. The state of the river Huntspill is so decrepit now that even holding a small match now more or less impossible.

The last match that the Watchet mob fished on the Huntspill was on the 24th August 2019. This was fished at Woolavington on the Bridgwater bank going towards the motorway bridge. 10 anglers took part. I remember starting 20 minutes late in this match because I had to clear my peg.

So there you have it the results of probably the last match fished on the Huntspill by Watchet Angling Club. In terms of Match fishing the Huntspill it brought on the atmosphere of the bell, book and candle. The bell tolled, the book was closed, light a candle to match fishing on the Huntspill if you wish.

The next match with conditions allowing will be on the fast stretch of the River Tone on December 5th. (Government allowing).

Tight Lines Pete C

Missed Match Number 4

At 7 o’clock on Sunday 10th May 2020 Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Boris to you and me announced and in a roundabout way and somewhat cryptically that people from Wednesday could go fishing. The Angling Trust and the Angling Times immediately stepped in on social media to try and clarify the matter and by Monday morning it was clear that without doubt we definitely we could. But like most things in life things aren’t that simple.

Trinity Waters

• Contactless payments where possible please( there will be a small charge for contactless payments ) if using cash please bring correct money

• please bring your own sanitizers and also toilet roll to help reduce the risk of anything spreading ..

• Anglers MUST stay on their own swim (no sitting or chatting between swim)

• Social distancing at all times

• NO Sharing of swims except from the same house hold

• NO sharing of fishing tackle or other items

• NO keepnets

• NO competition fishing

• NO guests unless they are fishing and from the same house hold (maximum of 2 people per swim)

• Please message or ring before coming or choosing a swim as we have a very high demand of bookings coming in at the moment

• Travel separately unless from the same household

• Gates open at 6:30 am please DO NOT arrive before then

• Gates shut 21:30pm

• Hot food is now unavailable on site so either bring your own or takeaways are delivering but please order before gates close

• Anyone displaying symptoms or shares a house with anyone displaying symptoms please DO NOT come fishing, please stay at home and follow the government advice on isolation

The Sedges

We will be open for pleasure fishing from this Wednesday 13th May. Some restrictions will apply.


As you may be aware, it’s been confirmed that fisheries are now allowed to reopen this Wednesday, 13th May. What fantastic news!

However we have set out some restrictions following the guidelines of The Angling Trust that you will need to follow when you come fishing, anyone found not following these will be asked to leave. The restrictions are:

-Fishing must be booked in advance by calling Pete on 07866 557896, anyone who turns up without booking could be turned away

-All anglers to fish at least 15m apart, there will be cones on swims that are not to be used

-No more than one angler on the same swim, unless from the same household

-No guests allowed unless from the same household to the angler fishing

-No walking around the fishery and interacting with other anglers

-No sharing of any equipment

-No one to enter the fishery hut, any purchases made will be brought to you at the door

-No keep nets

-Bring the exact cash where possible as we don’t have card reading facilities yet.

-Leave a 2m gap between cars when parking, where possible

-No matches

-Wash hands thoroughly after using our toilet facilities

-Be responsible and do not come to the fishery if you have any symptoms of COVID-19

We hope you understand the importance of these restrictions and thank you all in advance for your cooperation. We need to work together if we want this to last.

Bridwater Angkling

Message to all B.A.A member

The B.A.A committee appreciates that you have all eagerly even awaiting a return to angling with this in mind the committee have made the following decisions to enable a safe return to fishing. All lakes will remain closed due to the following reasons, dunwear has blue/green algae and upon advice it needs to be monitored so remains closed. Combwich is closed as the fish have started spawning, like we did last season the intention was to always close the lake for 3 weeks to allow the fish to spawn safely which is why it also remains closed. The canal will be open from this Wednesday 13th May. All rivers are closed as per ea rules on the closed season. The committee hope to be able to open Combwich on June 1st but this could obviously be changed to a later date if we feel it unsafe for the anglers and bailiffs and the government decided to tighten our lockdown measures. As we are all aware this isn’t an easy time but we need to think about the everyone’s safety. Can I please remind you that you must follow the current government guidelines especially around social distancing, and we recommend using gloves and sanatizer especially when opening gates and padlocks.

Many thanks


Landsend Fisheries

Hi all

Lands End fishery will not be open

untill Monday 18th. I will be putting

New rules on Facebook over the weekend so all stay safe and take

care mike.

Well after all that your going to need some tips from Donk.

Saturday just gone the 9th of May we were supposed to fish Avalon but obviously we couldn’t

so here is the corresponding match from last year which was fished on the 4th of May 2019.

1stDave Colley89lb 14oz20
2ndRob Dodd73lb 9oz11
3rdEric Searle59lb 8oz9
4thAlan Bland46lb 3oz16
5thDave Nash32lb 1oz4
6thPhil Dodd25lb 11oz6
7thTony Richards24lb 14oz13
8thPete King22lb 3oz19
9thPaul Smith20lb 12oz3
10thBob Pascoe16lb 10oz12
11thPete Curnow11lb 2oz5
12thDave Gartenfeld10lb 1oz10
13thAlan Jenkins6lb 2oz17

Just one thing before I finish is that most EA rod licences expired on March 31st (I got mine yesterday)

which was in the middle of lock down so renewal may have slipped peoples minds. That all.

Tight Lines Pete C

Missed Match Number Three

Well missing all these matches is becoming a right pain in the backside, I have definitely got withdrawal symptoms and gone cold turkey. Well I spoke to Alan Bland and he has provided me with the fixtures.

These matches are booked to be fished but obviously subject to Covid 19 and government restrictions. Also whether the fisheries are willing to open even if certain restrictions are lifted.

June 6thTrinity Woodlands
June 20thSedges Canal
June 27th /28thBait Tech cup
July 4thShiplate Hawthorns
July 18thTrinity Woodlands
August 1stSedges Tile
August 15thAvalon
August 29thRiver Huntspill
September 12thKSD Parchey
September 26thShiplate Main lake
October 10thSedges Brick
October 24thSummerhayes Longs

I have spoken to Alan Bland and he tells me that there will be a Winter league but the venues and format is still to be determined.

I was in Sainsburys a while back and yours truly was in a hurry, its was a get in, get the items and get out operation. The visit was going to be fleeting. But as I was briskly passing the magazines racks a fishing publication caught my eye. Which was a very good achievement considering the pace I was going. The cover beamed the words 50 great tips for winter fishing. I stopped and looked at the culprit that caused me to halt in my tracks. I pondered hmm could be, just could be just a few tips in there that just could give me the edge. Without flicking through its covers and with one fell swoop the fishing mag found itself in my shopping basket and on its way to the tills.

Once home the mag was placed on the kitchen table while the rest of the shopping was put away. Can of diet coke in hand it was time for this mag to divulge these 50 great tips.

Naively I began to think of me being propelled in to the upper echelons of the match fishing fraternity. Promoted to the fishing elite.

Yea right. To call these great tips the publisher could be with some justification be sued under the trade descriptions act.

When fishing in cold weather wear warm clothing.

Make sure you use some thing heavy when breaking the ice.

Always fish at the depth the fish are feeding.

On the way the back from the recycling bin in my garden and in a bit of a depressed state caused by the thought of wasting a few bob. My mind turned to a match I fished way back in the late 1980s. We were all in the car park waiting for the draw. So to kill a few minutes I approached a well known match angler who was one of the top anglers in the locality. I knew his family quite way and because of this he knew me by sight and we always acknowledge each other and passed the time of day but that was it.

Guess what went in here.

So I thought I would just go over as he was on his own and make polite conversation and hopefully gain maybe one or two good tips. The conversation went a bit like this.

Me “well what’s going to be the wining method today then”

Match Angler Who spoke in a slightly west country Drawl. “well you know could be this or that really you know”

Me “yea anything specific what would you suggest anything”

MA “ Not really. Tench might probably win it you never know you know”

Me “what’s the best way to catch them in here then”

MA “well you know normal things really might be float or feeder you know”

Me “Any particular bait”

MA “well could be bread might be maggot but corn could come in to it, also worm you know”

Me “Is it worth going for the Roach and Rudd then and try to built a weight that way”

MA “You could do it that way you know but it might work or it might not you know”


Well to cut a long story short match angler true to form actually won the match.

So back in the car park and when he was alone I went over to him and gave him my congratulations and with that and a slight determination asked him how he achieved his success. The conversation was forth coming but was all his. The dialogue was plentiful but the delivery was slightly faster then I expected. After he had finished which I must say he had been speaking for a few minutes we said our good byes and went our separate ways.

On the way home I kept thinking about the end of match conversation, and kept pondering about the way it was delivered.

It then dawned on me and in my humble opinion I came to the conclusion that he was an absolute master of the superficial answer. Let me explain. If I managed to take a transcript of what he said. read it I would find that every thing he said would cancel out.

Eg In the first paragraph he said he caught on maggot but in the fourteenth paragraph he said he tried maggot but to no avail. In the third paragraph he had found all the fish he caught were feeding on the bottom. The seventeenth paragraph would say he had the fish up in the water.

Get my point. ( no wonder the fast delivery).

Now I know that some anglers spend hours and hours on the bank and stumble across something that is valuable in terms of getting an edge and want to keep it under wraps. I really do understand that and have no problem with that, but the lengths that some anglers go to keep certain knowledge makes me chuckle.

So to all the people who write in the angling press who come up with tips which equate to the bleedin obvious and to the people who have become masters in the art of the superficial answer well I don’t need you because, well I got a ……….. No I going to get an Australian guy could Nugget to provide the answer, look at the vid.

Yep I also got a Donk also. This donk is manifestation, the incarnation, the personification and the embodiment of the above said type of people, yea it a p**s take.

Donk will be part of the blog from now on and will make guest appearances throughout.

Well said,
Nice one.

Well this could be good new news there could be light at the end of the tunnel. Here is a clipping from last weeks Daily Telegraph.

Could be good news, well finally cast you mind back to a year ago and last years corresponding match. It was fished on 20/04/2019 on specimen lake at Landsend

The map.
1stDave Colley157 lb 04oz31
2ndShane Dutton81 lb 03oz33
3rdRob Dodd72 lb 01oz36
4thEric Searle57lb 13oz32
5thAlan Bland49 lb 14oz39
6thTony Richards45 lb 13oz34
7thDave Gartenfeld32 lb 01oz25
8thBob Pascoe25 lb 13oz30
9thPhil Dodd25 lb27
10thPaul Smith22 lb 08oz38
11thPete King11 lb 13oz28
12thPete Curnow11 lb 07oz29
13thAlan Jenkins3 lb 10oz26

Dave NashDNW40

John BarkerDNW37
Well done Mr Colley.

My apologies for being slightly late for this post because its normally published on a Sunday or at the latest on a Monday but I have to to blame my web hosting company for buggering things up. Well in true Bugs Bunny style “That’ all folks”


Missed match 11 April 2020

A message from Alan Bland

The one and only

11-04-20 match 13 cancelled due to worst Chinese take away the world has ever seen in our life time. Match dates and venues are available if required, But maybe you should consider fishing the optional winter league. Pete will happy receive any old fishing photos you may have to share.

All these thoughts are depressing me I am of to the pub. Hope you are all well stay safe and be lucky. Alan

Well once again we are all confined to our humble abodes and the simple pleasure of fishing has been denied us. It appears that the only way we can stay connected to our beloved sport is by sorting out our fishing equipment, watching dvds or watching you tube videos. It was while I was indulging my self in watching these you tube videos I suddenly pondered after noting the figure for number of views for the appropriate video what was the most watched piece of fishing ever. Well with the help of the internet I done a bit of research.

Mr Alf Garnett

Most of the TV programmes with the highest TV viewing figures ever recorded were actually from the 1960’s. This was owing to the fact that there were only 3 TV channels back then and each channel had a bigger share of the TV audience. Some shows had viewing figures of over 20 million. Shows such as Sunday Night at the London Palladium, The Morecombe and Wise show, Steptoe and Son and Till death as do Part. But TV today with it multitude of channel the best programmes barely reach the 7 million mark. So with this in mind and doing a bit of digging I think I have unearthed the Programme. Logically of course the programme would come from this so called golden era of TV. Ironically it was one of the first shows to be filmed in colour for the BBC way back in 1965. But the air date was 7th February 1966.

The show tried to captivate the mood of a group of 4 anglers fishing a small stream in a typical English village. A place where everyone would wish to live. A place which has a atmosphere of rustic happiness where the pace of life is slow but meaningful. A place where teatime is always at 5 O clock. A sleepy hollow, a quiet backwater. This group of 4 anglers always fished together on a Wednesday afternoon, the reason for Wednesday afternoon was simple, It was early closing.

The first of the anglers which is in no particular order was a typical rural person but was endowed with a business mind. He was owner of the local flour mill and had small side line in brewing. He was deemed by the locals as slightly old fashioned as this was testified by his country side attire and the fact that he used to ride around on a penny farthing.

Angler number 2 was a family man with 2 children a boy and a girl. His surname was Murphy and was the proprietor of the local bakery.

The 3rd angler was gentlemen that was held in very high esteem. He was a military man and held the rank of captain in the army. He would make sure that he would turn up without fail to take part in this jolly little get together.

The 4th guy also had business interests in the locality and it was from the back of his business premises they used to meet up and fish. This person as the story goes comes from a long line of sea captains. He has a passion for wearing boater hats.

There was a 5th person involved but did not fish he turned up to participate in his hobby that of photography He joined the anglers on the bank to take snap shots. He was a man of the medical profession the local doctor in fact. Another with a sleight tinge of eccentricity although this was the 1960s he used to drive a car similar to a Damleir Benz from the early 1900’s and another oddity of the good doctor was that he would always wear a top hat whilst examining he patients.

Well with this mixture of the idyllic and the offbeat no wonder the BBC thought it would be a good idea to send a film unit.

The corresponding Match from last year was fish at Trinity waters on the 6 April 2019.

14 anglers fished

1stRob Dodd63lb
2ndDave Colley48lb 09oz
3rdJohn Barker46lb 15oz
4thAlan Bland43lb 05oz
5thBob Pascoe35lb 02oz
6thEric Searle33lb 15oz
7thPhil Dodd28lb 10oz
8thTony Richards26lb 12oz
9thShane Dutton24lb 02 oz
10thPaul Smith20lb 06oz
11thPete Curnow6lb 12oz
13thAlan Jenkins2lb 04oz
DNWIDave Nashxxxxx

Just a couple sad points to end on. I was doing my shopping on Thursday and bumped in to a lady called Annette who used to be in the same year with me at school. Now she was married to Paul Baker. Paul for people who used to fish the Cellophane club matches was the Match Secretary at the back end of the 1990’s He took over from Dave Nash. Well I did not Know until Annette told me that Paul passed away nearly 3 ago RIP Paul.

Also we have just passed the 5th anniversary of the passing of ex club member Clive Cunningham who sadly died on the 7th April 2015. RIP Clive.

Take care people, Tight lines

Pete C

A message from our commander and chief. Alan Bland. 28th March 2020.

The Commander and chief Alan Band. Well match secretary then.

Well who would of thought it the 2020/2021 season due to resume on the 28/03/2020 cancelled due to the coronavirus. Unbelievable just over a 100 years ago the Spanish flu took out 10 times the amount of lives lost in world war 1 worldwide. So with todays technology I do wonder how,why, who, could be mothers natures work with a big hand from the mad scientist.

At this difficult time, stay safe, be lucky, any financial problems ask a friend. There are many in Watchet Angling club.

Whilst you are unable to fish, how about sorting out your tackle. Rod and pole should be cleaned by you and a friend maybe. Wash that tackle box and bait boxes (Dave Nash). Find all you tackle is Shergar in there (Alan Jenkins). And remember if down there is always another angler around.

Although obviously our match due to be fished this weekend was postponed. Lets have a trip down memory lane and have a look at last years corresponding fixture. This was fished on Saturday 23rd March 2019 at Summerhayes on Sellicks. The weather and conditions were similar and not a coronavirus in sight. The diagram below shows roughly where every one was pegged.

Position Name Weight
1st Phil Dodd 65 lb 13 oz
2nd John Barker 50 lb 14 oz
Joined 4th Paul Smith 50 lb 02 oz
Joined 4th Rob Dodd 50 lb 02 oz
5th Alan Bland 48 lb 05 oz
6th Tony Richards 43 lb 03 oz
7th Eric Searle 31 lb 06 oz
8th Dave Colley 23 lb 03 oz
9th Pete King 19 lb 07oz
10th Alan Jenkins 18 lb 09oz
11th Pete Curnow 13 lb 08 oz
12th Dave Gartenfeld 8 lb 07 oz
13th Dave Nash 8lb 05oz
14th Bob Pascoe 6 lb 14oz

I searched out a video on you tube to cheer you guys up in these dark dreary fish less days.

This is what I copied from the Angling Times face book page. Ref bait tech cup. It’s concerns us all.

Bait-Tech Supercup – important notice!!!!

If you are a member of a club or team entered in this year’s Supercup, the first round scheduled for the weekend of April 25 and 26 will no longer take place.
This is in reaction to this evening’s government announcement regarding Covid 19, non essential travel and ban on gatherings of more than two persons.
Fisheries are closing as each minute passes so with all of this in mind, we are aiming to hold the first round on the weekend of June 27 and 28, restrictions allowing.
Please communicate this to all team members and if possible your opposition. We will also be contacting each team tomorrow via email or text to confirm the above. With luck, we’ll get out fishing again by July!
Keep safe and healthy because it’s only fishing at the end of the day – and the fish aren’t going anywhere!!!!

Okay folks I am in touch with most people in the club and I will let you know if there is any further news. Obviously it depends on government policy for when we are able to get out on the bank again. Lets hope it is sooner rather than later, Fingers crossed.

All the best to one and all Pete C