Winter Match Fished The Fast Stretch River Tone.

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”

Good News.

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.

PositionAnglerWeightPeg no
1stPhil Dodd4lb4
2ndIan Townsend2lb 8oz5
3rdRob Dodd1 lb 13 oz1
4thPaul Smith1 lb 4 oz9
5thAlan Bland11 oz3
6thDave ColleyDNW7

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).

Tight lines

Pete C.

Watchet Angling league Match 6 25/01/2020

The River Tone on the fast stretch was the venue for the 6th match in the Watchet angling winter league series. Now yours truly did not fish this match due to helping out as a volunteer with the Inland Waterways Association at Bridgwater docks. (I will be doing a post on this soon). Hence this match report shall we say will be in a concise form.

Position Name weight peg
1st Dave Nash 9lb 6oz 1
2nd Phil Dodd 8lb 10oz 3
3rd Dave Colley 7lb 6oz 2
4th Rob Dodd 4lb 12oz 6
5th Paul Smith 3lb 2oz 5
6th Eric Searle 2lb 14oz 4
7th Alan Bland DNW 7

The pegging was as follows, pegs 1-2 was to the left of the car park peg 3 was roughly where the car park is and the pegs 4-7 was around the corner where 7 was the nearest to the 2nd weir.

Top rod Dave Nash had mostly Chub and a few Roach and also had a Trout.

2nd placed Phil had mostly Chub and Roach but apparently was kept company by a washed up moped a little bit further along his peg.

Dave Colley in 3rd spot also had mostly Chub and Roach.

Poor Alan Bland the match secretary did not land a fish on peg 7 he had what is known as the snag swim and his claim to fame in this match is that (in his own words) he had lost during the match 20 hooks. Better luck next time mate.

The next match in the series is on February 8th at Summerhayes on Sellicks Pond.

Watchet angling winter league match 4 07/12/2019

Part of my catch last time

The venue for the clash of Titans of the angling word for the 4th round of the Watchet angling winter league was the River Tone on the fast stretch. Talking to other members of the Watchet clan it could be deemed a marimite venue you either like it or loathe it. Now I’ve only fished once before about 3 years ago. What I caught that very uneventful day was a bit of wood, a handle from a shopping basket and some ones sock (an orange one). I packed up after an hour after I came to the conclusion that the swim was 90% snags 10% water. Now the week running up to a fishing match I normally go in to I can’t wait or I am looking forward to it mode. But not this week. Looking for clues and tips of how to fish the venue I had the most helpful of facts Your best bet is a wind beater or pike bunk with arsley bombs knotted down the line oh best bait moth ball. You see some people can be the most obliging.

So it was up to tackle shop manager of Somerset Angling the one and only Mr Steve Kedge who put me right by suggesting the stick float and main bait maggot. Keep flicking maggots in and keep constantly changing depths to find the fish. So this was the main plan of attack in fact it was the only plan.

So come Saturday morning the Alarm goes of I have a choice of 2 things to do.

This one.
Or this one the one I opted for.

Now just let me just wonder of a little, how many people remember Quinn Martin Or heard of a Quinn Martin production only people over a certain will probably remember. The guy Mr martin was the person responsible for some classic American Tv series such The streets of San Francisco and Cannon. Now what impressed me about these programes was the introduction and the theme music. But what really intrigued me was the format of these introductions the narration part It would introduce the main actors of the series and then the guest stars but get this at the end part of the intro it would say and starring special guest star. Have a look at this video and you will see what I mean.

Well we at Watchet angling have a facility at the members discretion to allow guests to fish our matches and if this match was a Quinn Martin production our guest would be categorised under special guest star one of south west greatest the one and only Vic Bush. By the way the picture above is not of Vic.

Now some of the anglers of the club had a challenge even before fishing started even before the draw. The task of how to unlock the gate so it was up to yours truly to go back up the track and show 3 anglers how to use a combination lock.

After the gate episode the draw took place I drew peg 8 I was then suitably informed that peg 8 was the wait for it. Big drum roll here. The Snag swim. My mind immediately started feeding me images of bits of wood, shopping baskets and orange socks. I started to enquire what time was the early kick of in the premiership was because there was a possibility of me watching it in the pub.

However I ambled to peg 8 with my gear to be greeted by a swim close to a weir.

Peg 8 my swim, the snag swim.

So using a stick float I began to to the trot through the swim right up to the weir. Within 10 minutes I had my first fish a roach around 10 minutes in but then it became very slow on the hour of 11 I hook a fish a so called minnow. Wow but they all count. At 12 oclock I had a visit by John Barker and Dave Nash. Dave informed me he had 3 chub and John said he just had one roach and that he was thinking of packing up. Which he duly did at 12:30 a guy of his angling talent if he packs up early you can be assured he had a crap swim. Any way I ended the match with 5lb 4oz which consisted of 3 chub and a few bits. All on maggot.

Position Name Weight peg
1st Vic Bush 17lb 4oz 2
2nd Eric Searle 12lb 14oz 5
3rd Alan Bland 12lb 1
4th Dave Nash 8lb 6
5th Rob Dodd 6lb 2oz 4
6th Pete Curnow 5lb 4oz 8
7th Phil Dodd 1lb 8oz 3
DNW John Baker

The pegging was that pegs 1 2 and 3 were to the left of the car park peg 4 was closest to the viaduct or bridge and 5 was around the corner before the first weir and so on up the straight to peg8 ( my peg) before the next weir.

Vic Bush’s wining weight was achieved on the stick float also at times on a avon float and in is own words the bait was “the good old maggot” . Well done Vic.

Eric in second also used a Stick float with maggot but caught one on the feeder.

Alan in 3rd used a barbel trotter was also on maggot. And like wise for the rest of us also rans it was mostly The stick float and maggot

And here he is the winner with 17lb 4oz our special guest star a smiling Vic Bush after his Victory.

Conclusion As stated before in the beginning of this blog that this venue is classed by some as Marmite. Well my thoughts are, okay I caught fish and it was nice to catch a chub I have not caught one for a long time. But the nature of the water can be a cause for irritation. When float fishing on this water you trot down, the float would go under and I would hook a snag. Now do this a few times of trotting down and hooking snags can be a bit tedious. Then when you trot down again the float disappears you think it a snag and instead you hook a fish. This aspect to me was to some effect very disappointing. Alright because we live now in the age of the commercial fishery some of us are some what spoiled with what these venues produce and the creature comforts that they bring, So with me the jury’s still out and in my humble opinion this is why. I don’t fish this venue all that often and on this river I lack certain skills to be prolific on it. My areas where I lack the skills are 1) accurate casting with a stick float and 2) precision feeding in reference to the flow. Feeding to avoid the snags is crucial and getting the feed to the right spot is most important. So my thoughts are it a specialist type of venue and I don’t fish it often enough to make a judgement and to you anglers who are consistent framers on this water I take my hat of to you.

Finally to remind you guys about a match I am arranging to be fished on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve the venue will on the KSD at Parchay the reserve venue will be on the canal at Fordgate. Draw 9 o’clock. Fishing from 10 until 3. I am paying peg fees and the prize money in the kitty will be £70. I have a few names already. The cut of for entries will Tuesday 17th December mid night. Any late entries will not be tolerated and phrases like, I could probably make it put my name down just in case and I might turn up it depends and variants of these phrases will be classed as definite NO’s . Yes means yes and no means no there is no in between. This match is open to Watchet anglers only. If I don’t see you guys before have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year,