Winter league Match. Canal at Boat and Anchor 22/02/2020

Once all participating anglers where in the car park next to the Boat and Anchor and all the gossip and nattering was out the way. The time came to collect the peg fees, this call to action brought forth the wad of Dodd. Enough to pay of the national debt. Note from the photo he is struggling with the weight. Now in contrast my wallet has all the characteristics of a helium filled balloon.

The wad of Dodd

The pegging was such that pegs only 5 to 11 were used. Peg 5 was next to the bottle neck just before wide waters and 6 to 11 was going back towards the Boat and Anchor. It was decided not to fish in the Wide Water section itself owing to the fact that a very strong wind would be blowing in your face and making it the equivalent to fishing of of the rocks on Cape Horn in a force 10 gale.

On the way to our pegs we caught sight of this young fellow who was spinning in the reen next to the canal. This persistent gentleman fished all day up and down the length of this little water course. On the way back we found out he had caught two jack pike. I take my hat to you sir for your enduring endeavour.

Paul Smith before the start of the match mixing his magic winning formula. “Double double toil and trouble eye of newt, toe of frog, wing of bat and tongue of dog eh eh eh eh”

Apparently before the start of the match Rob had a phone call from his stock broker who convinced him that he should buy shares in Betamax, Woolworths, and Maxwell Communications. Oh dear!

It hard to sum up this match except by using a bit of Charles Dickens. Yes you read that right Charles Dickens. A tale of Two cities in fact. The first paragraph.

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.

First on the day with a phenomenal performance was and I mean that most sincerely folks (who remembers Hughie Green) was the one and only Paul Smith. When the going gets tough he certainly gets going. Paul weighed in a grand total of 16lb 10 oz This great catch consisted of 6 Tench. Paul fished 3 lines, short, middle and far side. But to cut a long story short. The only bites he had came at the far side on worm.

2nd placed Dave Nash just had 3 fish a nice tench a bream and a small roach. The bream was caught in the first hour about a third of away across on the pole. The tench and small roach where caught on the tip. The bait was maggot and pinkie. Total weight for Dave was 5lb 14oz

3rd was a certain Rob Dodd who only had and I say only had in the context of things 2 tench which he caught on the far side with pinkie and maggot. Bites for Mr Dodd were at a premium. He put on the scales 4lb 10oz.

4th ah yes 4th place was me with a astounding 2oz yes 2oz , but who cares at least I weighed in. I had 2 small roach, first was caught with an hour to go and the other 15 minutes later. Enough said.

Phil Dodd did not weigh in but said had 4 small roach and a small bream all on the tip Mate you should have waited for the scales.

Alan Bland braved it to the end but did not have a bite.

Eric Searle got the Abington Town trophy for packing up at 1 o clock and going home to watch the racing.

The water in my peg. The colour #8d867f

Now who remembers science at school and in particular litmus paper. Yes get some litmus paper dunk it in to some liquid and according to what colour it turned you could tell if it was acid, neutral or alkaline. Now to jog your memories red was acid, blue was neutral and green was alkaline. There don’t tell me that I don’t teach you angling brethren anything. But what that to do with our beloved sport of fishing I hear you all wail. Well I am going to give you the digital equivalent and relate it to fishing the canal. Fish the canal and you hear the colour is wrong, or the colour is right for bread or the colour is is right for worm and caster etc etc. Now I going to give you lot a code. This code is #8d867f ( I got you all on the edge of you seat with this one) Well this is what is known as a web colour code. A web page or a photo displayed on a computer consists of pixels each pixel has a web colour code. Now pure white is #FFFFFF and pure black #000000. Now there are 16,777,216 different web colours with each having it’s own unique code. Basically I took this photo of my peg on the canal and found the average colour code of the water in my peg to be this #8d867f so what I am saying is this is if the colour of the water in the canal is #8d867f don’t bother.

Position Name Weight Peg
1st Paul Smith 16lb 10oz 7
2nd Dave Nash 5lb 14oz 5
3rd Rob Dodd 4lb 10oz 9
4th Pete Curnow 2 oz 6

Phil Dodd DNW 11

Alan Bland DNW 8

Eric Searle DNW 10

It was nice once again to see our dear old friend Alan Jenkins, as you all know poor old Alan suffers from poor health and to top it all he has now developed a eye condition. But Alan being Alan still keeps his spirits up. Good old Alan.

Here we can see the wise old sage giving the eventual winner Paul Smith some professional advice such as keep you hat straight and trim your beard.

The next match is on March the 7th at the Sedges Tile Lake.

Tight lines to one and all.

Christmas Eve match 2019 Fordgate.

Christmas eve is the day of winding down, going in to chill out mood. The day Christmas spirit starts to peak, most people are content and happy. The day of expectation and joyousness and what better way to get caught up in this swirl of Christmas feeling then to have a match at nice sleepy hollow, a quaint rustic backwater to mimic this easing down from the normal pace of life. The canal at Fordgate was the place that ticked all the boxes for this festive occasion.

I was a little bit worried when I visited this place on Friday the 20th, the colour of the canal was like milky tea. Apparently bad for fishing oh dear. However when I returned on Monday morning I was surprised to find a group of three people fishing. By their gear and their set up they’d seemed creditable anglers. All three were very approachable and friendly. When I introduced myself and explained that I had arranged a match for the following day they said that they would keep any left over bait instead of throwing it in. I also let it be known that my main purpose of being here was to cut out a swim a few yards down from them with a strimmer and that there was a possibility of me affecting the fishing . To them this was no problem I was told to carry on. What nice people, all I know is that they came from the Yeovil area. NICE ONE GUYS. MANY THANKS. Also the colour had dropped out of the water and all three men were catching. A good omen.

Up the Blades.

Now how this match came in to being was that I had a little wager with the people at Ladbrokes on the Cornhill in Bridgwater on Sheffield United finishing in the top half of the championship and bingo they actually got promoted. So when I got my lively winnings I decided on setting up this match.

So the day of the match arrived, well I say match it was more like a jolly little get together with just a pinch of competitiveness. Six was down to fish this and all six turned up, a full house with no no shows on the day. Brilliant.

Alan Jenkins unloading several tons of tackle from his car. But what a festive jumper.
Eric and Dave in festive cheer.

In the car park the mood was definitely festive. Sweets and Christmas cards were exchanged before the draw. The pegging was such that peg one was straight out of the car park on to the bank. Then going up to the left of the car park up to number six right next to the first set of reeds. The weather started fine but then around about noon the rain started not heavy but steady. Not Christmassy at all. The rain did however ease of in the last 45 minutes of the match. There was a slight breeze but nothing to worry about.

“it was that big”. Note Tony Richards on peg one in the back ground.
Sheer concentration from Eric. In the middle Alan landing his only fish and end pegger Phil chilling.

Now methods differed amongst us anglers Tony Richards on peg one used a short pole. Dave Nash on peg two used his beloved whip. Yours truly next to Dave just used a small waggler set up . Next along the bank was Eric Searle, he alternated between pole and small feeder. In five was Mr Alan Jenkins he predominantly used the pole mid channel but set up several pole tops and rods. This gentleman brings more tackle to the bank than they have in Somerset Angling. On peg six was the man himself Phil Dodd who swapped between waggler and feeder.

Right angling people here are the results.

Position Name Weight Peg
1st Tony Richards 2lb 10oz 1
2nd Phil Dodd 2lb 3oz 6
3rd Pete Curnow (me) 1lb 12oz 3
4th Dave Nash 1lb 3oz 2
5th Alan Jenkins 8oz 5
DNW Eric Searle
4

Top weight Tony who used a short pole started of on maggot then switched to pinkie and in the last hour used bread punch. Tony fished no farther than a third of a way across. Tony had all small fish.

In second place was “I pulled it out of the bag in the last minute Phil Dodd”. Who caught a tench that was a tad over 2lb in the dying seconds of the match. He tempted the fish a third of the way across on double red maggot. But otherwise he had a small perch from the margins and a few bits.

Yours truly had all small fish on pinkie and from the far side. I could not get any bites close in, the nearer to the far bank I was the more bites I got. Oh the bait had to be moving.

The winner one Mr Tony Richards.

Dave Nash managed to nudge out 1lb 3oz he had a reasonable size skimmer more or less at the start. And Alan Jenkins had one bite one fish for 8oz. Eric had a couple small fish but didn’t bother with the scales. First prize was £30, 2nd pick up was £25 3rd was £15 . The guys who finished and 4th and below all got a box of chocolates.

Way way back to Christmas 1980 my dear dad gave me a book for Christmas called Fishing Canals by Ken Cope. Its a reasonable book for the beginner and the intermediate angler. There is however a chapter titled “Where to fish” and in this chapter it mentions the Bridgwater and Taunton canal and with this comes this picture which is shown below on the left. Which I reckon was taken from the top of the pill just before the white gate probably sometime in the early 1970’s . So at the end of the match and with the help of Mr Nash who gave me a bunk up on to the top of the pill box I took the photo on the right just for comparison.

After the match every one agreed they all had an enjoyable time.

There is a famous saying which goes “it’s not the winning that counts but the taking part” if there was ever a match that summed up this saying it was definitely this one. Enough said.

Watchet angling club winter league match 3

The venue was none other than the Bridgwater and Taunton canal at wide waters. Now whilst in the car park at the boat and anchor pub it became apparent that Mr Dave Nash was not going to turn up as he had been scuppered by a hang over and poor Phil Dodd had fallen victim to gravity and had just fallen down the stairs, The rest of the absentees all had excusal notes signed by their wives, So then there were only five to do battle.

But this added to the problem of the draw because where there was supposed to be 7 now there was only 5 But Alan the match secretary decided on what seemed to us remaining mere mortals an extremely complex dialogue “right if you draw out 7 you can fish in 6 if wish but only if no one pulls out 5 or , if 5 is pulled out but not 4 you can have a choice of pegs of 4 or 5 and 6 only if the person who pulls out 7 decides not to fish 6 but wants to fish 7. If you get 4 you can fish 5 or 3 depending if 6 have been drawn and if the person who’s peg is 6 decides if wants fish 7 if that peg is not pulled out. Right if 3 is one of the numbers that comes out that angler can have if he wants, a choice of either 3,4 or 2 depending if 1 is drawn out in that case the angler on 1 who has a choice of 1 or 2 might want to fish 1 but if 1 is not fished and the guy on 5 decides to fish 6 that leaves the angler on 7 with only one choice so instead if 5 wants to fish 6 and not 5 or 4 and if the person on 2 decides to fish 2 or 3 but not 1 the guy on 7 which depending if 6 or 5 is pulled out can have an option of 1 or 7 but obviously this depends on the on 3 and 4 so………”etc etc etc !

Right once the pegs were drawn and we had the numbers we anglers took certain steps.

Rob Dodd decided to ring some of his friends at the Met office and with the aide of their super computer it was decided that Rob should fish peg 5

Dave Colley did a similar tactic and rang some people he knew at NASA and they concluded that he should fish peg3,

Paul got on his mobile phone and rang dial a clairvoyant who duly got in touch with Albert Einstein the result was that Paul should fish peg 1

Yours truly took the number drawn divided it by pi and then found it’s antilog which gave me peg 6.

Alan Bland just worked it all out in his head and fished peg 2.

The weather was overcast and except for a few splutterings of rain was on the whole dry. There was a slight breeze but nothing to worry about.




The winner on the day was none other than the mighty tactician Alan Bland. He had amassed a total of 8lb 14oz. This winning catch consisted of a tench of 4llb 7oz tench and a perch of 1lb 13oz and smaller bits. Alan fished right across to within 2 foot of the far bank with chopped worm and caster.



Mr Bland just pipped Rob Dodd by 4oz for a weight of (work it out yourself) 8lb 10oz. This comprised of 2 Tench the biggest was 4lb and bits . Rob had one Tench from the middle and the other from the far side. Rob used pinkie and maggot. Rob got smashed up 3 times on Tench.



3rd place Paul Smith had a reasonable weight of small fish for 7lb he used a combination of pinkie and bread punch but he said he got his better fish on red maggot. He also got smashed on his elasticated whip by a Tench.



4th place was Mr I drive a different vehicle every time to a match Dave Colley, who had managed to put on the scales 5lb 07oz, Dave used the whip through out and the bait which he used was no other than the humble maggot.



The peg that I had drawn was a bit awkward as it was under a over hanging tree so I could not use my waggler rod. But instead had to use the pole. I used mostly bread punch and now and then pinkie. I fished varying distances but caught most of my on punch about 5 meters to my right. I caught a total weight of 4lb 2oz to be crowned the wooden spoonist. BAH. Never mined always next time.
Position Peg Name Weight
1st 2 Alan Bland 8lb 14oz
2nd 5 Robb Dodd 8lb 10oz
3rd 1 Paul Smith 7lb
4th 3 Dave Colley 5lb 7oz
Last 6 Pete Curnow 4lb 2oz

The next match in the series will be at the fast stretch on the river Tone, if this becomes unfishable owing to heavy rain etc the alternative venue will be the Bridgwater and Taunton canal at wide waters once again. Tight lines people.