Years past they used to light beacons on the hilltops to send momentous news across the country. If such a practice was still in use today then the December night would have been lit from one end of the land to the other, The darkness of the night would have been eradicated. Come morning the town crier with red tunic, three corned hat, hand bell and scroll. Would shout hear “yee hear yee Match fishing is back god save the queen”
But still social distancing still have to be observed and no kissing and cuddling is allowed.
So Match fishing is back and in the case of the Watchet club it was not marked by the most wondrous fire work display but by the proverbial damp squib.
Now a good old chin wag to ones self and counting the hairs on the palm of ones hand are as they say is the first signs of madness. But surely and what cannot be denied or disputed that the grey matter is on the way out and the brain cells are starting to misfire and the next level of mental agility is that of a life of ga ga is to fish the fast stretch of the river Tone in the conditions that greeted the Watchet mob on Saturday the 5th of December 2020.
Well 8 hardy souls with so called sound mental health took up the challenge.
Well from a personal point of view this is what happened. I set up one stick float rod and before the off had a fair few trots through the swim. The only way it seemed to get a clear run through and not hit any snags MOSTLY was to set the depth at 2.5 feet. Not ideal as the average depth was nearer 6. Whistle goes, and every time I trotted down one of two things happened. One’s float goes under ….. snag or if I did get a good run through I would always end up with a twig or leaf on the end of the hook. After about an hour I had enough twigs and leafs on the bank to build an Eagle nest.
Now the temperature was such that if the mercury in any out door thermometer in the locality was showing above freezing it meant either. a) it was broke b) it was lying. The weather was grim It rained and it was a good job I wasn’t a brass monkey else I would have ended up a eunuch.
Just after the hour my the float glided down and under it went. I struck, the rod bend, snag, a bloody big one at that too. I pulled on the rod and twang. Then I looked at the float at my feet, it was wrapped in line and shot minus me hook. I pondered and came to the conclusion that I had more chance of getting to the moon and back on a pogo stick than catching a fish. I was soaked and my fingers were numb owing to the conditions that would not look out of place at the north pole. My sanity triumphed and I decided to chuck in, throw in the towel, pack up. In doing so I calculated that I did at least do my bit and took some pressure of the NHS, because if I stayed any longer I would have had to go to the nearest casualty department and have my finger amputated owing to frost bite. Dave Nash had the same Idea and packed up half an hour later, leaving 6 hardly souls who no doubt was wishing for the men in white coats to come along, tap them on the shoulder and whisked them of to a nice warm padded cell.
But apparently perseverence did pay of or did it I’m not sure.
|2nd||Ian Townsend||2lb 8oz||5|
|3rd||Rob Dodd||1 lb 13 oz||1|
|4th||Paul Smith||1 lb 4 oz||9|
|5th||Alan Bland||11 oz||3|
The winner of this most unmomerable match was Mr Philip Dodd. Phil pulled out of the draw bag ( well it was my hat really) peg number 4 which owing to the fact he pulls out this peg every time he fishes the place is now the aptly named Doddy’s peg. Phil fished maggot feeder and manged to get a Chub and Roach and by sheer angling skill it seems managed to lasso an eel.
2nd place was Brummie Ian Townsend with 2 fish a Chub and a Grayling for 2lb 8oz. The method used was feeder. I did speak to Ian just after I packed up, who at the time happened to be sat on his hands owing to the polar conditions and he was ruing the fact that he had a lift because if he came in his own car he would of packed up before me.
3rd was Robb Dodd whose weight was 1 lb 13 oz. This consisted of a Chub and a trout.
Paul Smith occuppied 4th spot with a weight of 1 lb 4 oz. This catch was made up of Roach, Minnows and a Chub. Paul used a varity of methods for his haul.
5th was Alan Bland whose only bite resulted in a Chub of 11 oz.
Dave Colley who stayed to the bitter end had no bites and deemed his peg unfishable. But should be mentioned for his persistence and possible insanity (only kidding).
Me and Dave Nash PUFO’d (packed up F**ked off).
Ringing Alan Bland for the post match debrief he mentioned a characteristic of the match or in particular the match venue in which every one I guess noticed subconsciously. The River Tone is of course a natural feature which has all the attributes like any other river, but this particular day the river came with extra baggage caused by the society we live in. This extra element reminded Alan of a certain game show that used to be on Auntie Beeb on Saturday evenings. This Stalwart of the entertainment establishment was none other than The Generation Game. So what is the connection between The Generation Game and the river Tone on this particular day. Well at the end part of the show was the conveyor belt which doesn’t need any introduction. So one is fishing away watching the water and the flow and in ones head you can hear the commentator of the show instead of saying a cuddly toy, a teasmaid, a toaster a ironing board etc One can hear him say, a coke can, a football, a British beer can, a foreign beer can, a crisp packet as all these objects passes ones peg.
From 1971 until 1977 the show was presented by the one and only Bruce Forsythe who later went on to present another game show Play Your Cards Right which featured the Brucie Bonus. Now hand on heart I bet no one had a bonus in this match.
The next match will be on January 9th 2021 on the fast stretch on the River Tone.
(Right where’s my pogo stick see if I can reach the Sea of Tranquility).