Mayhem at Parchey on The Kings Sedgemoor Drain.

It was a bright sunny Saturday morning and the wind was negligible The sun had given notice that it was going to be a nice hot summers day. The odds and sods, the oddballs and misfits of society which every two weeks metamorphosize into the Watchet Angling club met at the stone strewn dust ridden car park at Parchey on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain. As usual insults where traded and lies and fibs about the previous weeks fishing were swapped.

A short chronological order of events.

The draw was made at 0845, and of we jolly well went with a hop and a skip across Parchey bridge on to the bridgwater bank (Parchey to Bradney) to our allotted pegs.

The hopeful participants as normal set out their stall, setting up poles, whips and waggler rods. Task completed and there was time found before the off for people to walk the banks and have a bit of a chin wag.

10.00 am whistle is sounded and battle commences, This is where Alan Bland takes up part of the story. Alan our much beloved match secretary had pulled out peg 86 which people who have local angling knowledge will know is right next to the bridge. ” I started to catch right away, a fish a chuck. An hour and a half in to the match I reckoned 20lb plus is on the cards here alright as the stamp of fish were improving”. This unfortunately was the lull before the storm, dark clouds were looming, disaster was coming around the corner.

11.30 The first of the foot soldiers and shock troops appeared from the “lets F**k up the anglers day” battalion. Convoy after convoy followed and made headway to the far bank next to the car park. Base camp was set up where exercise “let’s p**s the anglers off ” was coordinated from. Tents and gazebos where set up to add a touch of professionalism to the operation.

11.45 am The amphibious section enters the water. This devious group was well equipped to employ the ultimate amount of mayhem. A plethora of craft from paddle boards to canoes, from rubber dinghies to rubber inflatables were employed to maximum effect to ruin one’s fishing. The foot soldiers had there own tactics to, to cause total destruction of ones chances of catching fish. In military type precision they aligned themselves on Parchey bridge and at a set time leapt and let gravity take over and enter the water with the greatest noise possible.

At one stage there was well over a 100 people participating and one point Tony Richards who was on peg 84 counted 47 people in the water at once. The disturbance of the water was such that Alan Bland had to alter the depth of his tackle and lay on the bottom to stop his float from moving. He also commented that if there was a burger or ice van present they would of made a killing. This sums it up. Once this crowd of people arrived the fishing just died.

Okay trust me I am no killjoy and I don’t want to take away peoples fun and pleasure like ours was on Saturday.

But here is a few points to note.

The rules of the Bridgwater Angling Club (which rents the water from the EA) and which indeed are common sense are.

No boats on Bridgwater Angling waters are a allowed. Bloody hell what I saw the word flotilla, regatta and armada springs to mind.

No swimming allowed in Bridgwater Angling waters, oh well a few got away with that one then.

No fires on the banks of Bridgwater Angling water. Well you could smell barbecues from our bank.

Not for one moment do I blame Bridgwater Angling Association. Give me some slack here for the moment. Last year Alan Bland, Dave Nash and yours truly pleasure fished midweek the same place but a bit further up the bank and the same thing happened but on a very smaller scale. Next day Alan rang up the Enviromental Agency to complain. He was passed on from one department to another. In the end the answer given was it’s a matter for the police or the local authorities.

Right stay with it. If I own a commercial fishery I am responsible for the upkeep of the place. It is up to me to make sure that people adhere to the rules. If there is a commotion on site it is up to me to sort it out or call the police. Bear in mind if you just fish my fishery for the whole season you still need an EA rod license.

The Kings Sedgemoor Drain is the responsibilty of the EA. There fore it up to them to police it.

There are no signs in place with the rules on at the entrances to the banks.

Now reading this you might rightly say why did you lot fish here in the first place. Okay.

Above is a photo copy of the junior fixture list from the 1980/81 Bridgwater license. Have a look. There you will see matches held at Greylake, Bradney, Silver fish and of course Parchey. Holding matches at Greylake, and Silver Fish are totally out of the equation now owing to state of the venues. Bradney looks to be in a terminal state of decline and the conditions of some of the pegs make it more or less impossible for older people with back, hip or knee problems to fish. So now in a reality sense Parchey is only the real option on the table now.

It appears that the EA want your rod license money and nothing else. Since the EA took over from the National Rivers Authority the conditions for fishing on the KSD have gone down hill at a great rate of knots. To quote Wordsworth “they are like the lilies of the field they neither reap or do they sow” Bridgwater Angling Association used to get quite a lot of income from pegs fees from matches held on the KSD. The 1965 national had 800 anglers on the drain alone and clubs from all over the southwest used to book matches on this water. But owing to the state of the drain match fishing has plummeted and fees has diminished. These fees help to pay for the rental for this venue. The sear cheek is that the EA still expect the rent to be paid but owing to their ineptness have thwarted the means in helping paying it. In other words Bridgwater Angling have been screwed. Enough said.

The results of the match have been somewhat over shadowed by the above events. But it got to be noted that for obvious reasons the better weights were furthest from the bridge. But lets not take any credit away from the people who done well.

First on the day from peg 69 was Paul Smith with a good weight for the conditions (hot and mostly windless) of 10 lb 05 oz. Paul employed mostly pinkie and short pole and the waggler and maggot.

Mr Nigel Coram who was end pegger on peg 64 done well for 2nd spot with a reasonable weight of 7 lb 04 oz his tactics was short pole with maggot over black ground bait.

Making amends from his last match was Ian Townsend with a weight of 5 lb 10 oz from peg 66. Ian used corn and maggot with pole. Mr Townsend got 3rd.

In 4th we find Dave Nash from peg79. This silvers veteran landed a weight of 4lb 04 oz. Method employed was waggler and maggot and whip and caster.

Alan Bland who was at ground zero of the mayhem got 5th with a weight of 3 lb 10 oz on peg 86 his approach was pole and maggot, but note he did not have any fish after 11.45 am.

In all honesty I think owing to the circumstances it is best to draw the line at the match summary here because it seems immaterial to carry on.

I was over at Dunwear ponds a few days ago and was horrified by how much the green algae had taken hold in big pit and it seems that this hot weather is not going to help matters. Below are the swims back of South pond.

The people on the Bridgwater angling committee must be pulling there hair out it’s been nearly 2 months now since you could fish big pit. First it was the fish that was late in spawning and now the algae problem. Fingers crossed for the future.

Well that all folks on this somewhat melancholic post.

Tight lines Pete C

The National Angling Championships 1965.

This is a couple of pictures of a swim. As a swims it does not stand out in anyway particular. it’s a rather unassuming swim, nothing special to note. Not very picturesque or charming. So one can assume it’s a swim or peg if you prefer that is just ordinary and average. This so called run of the mill peg however has a unique feature. It is a swim that is located on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain and is the exact mid point between Parchay and Greylake bridges. It is 1.86 miles from both. As for getting there one can imagine it can be a bit of a trek. It is not helped by the fact that the track alternates from being none-existent to a simple construct created by the ambling of cows. This uneven, rough and bumpy path which fades in and out might be okay for our four legged friends of the bovine family to move over but for us bipeds it a different matter for the ordinary walker or even more so for the angler burden by tackle . On average it takes roughly 40 minutes to get there. This swim is located on the Westonzoyland stretch which in itself is a far of place. One can say about the above mentioned swim its probable that more people have walked on the moon than have fished here.

X marks the sport. The mid point swim.

But one Saturday way back in 1965 the 11th of September to be exact this Westonzoyland stretch and the mid point swim became for a few hours the epicentre or ground zero of the match fishing world. For this day was the day of the 1965 angling national championships.

A few facts from 1965

The venues used were

The river Huntspill.

The river Cripps.

The South Drain.

The Kings Sedgemoor Drain.

110 teams took part.

1320 anglers fished.

The Head quarters for the match was at Westonzoyland air field.

The Draw was at 8am.

It was a 5 hour match.

There was heavy rain the week leading up to the match.

On the day of the match there was a strong wind.

It was the National Angling Championships golden jubilee, ie it was the 50th one to be held.

The HQ was at the Westonzoyland air field, owing to heavy rain in the week prior to the match the place was a bit of a quagmire.

Dave Burr of the Rugby Federation team picked out of the bag peg D63, which is roughly the mid point swim. After being dropped of at Parchay bridge a long walk to his peg was in front of him. Indeed it was the 1.86 miles and from the records he had to pass 133 pegs to get to his. Now bear in mind that this is 1965 and that the fishing trolley was an idea in its infancy. Dave being far sighted however fitted his rather large wicker basket with an axle and 2 five inch wheels. Dave came with intent and a determination, the will to do well. His inventory that day was astounding, 30lb of dry ground bait, 9lb of wet ground bait approximately 2 gallons of squats, 6 pints of pinkies and 4 pints of maggots, some turning to caster. Armed with the wheeled basket, rod holdall and bait bag he set of to his designated peg. But alas it wasn’t a straight forward trek, for half way disaster struck, the axle on his basket broke. So with no alternative he left his bait bag and rod holdall and carried his basket 20 yards, left it and then went back for the bag and holdall took them to the basket and repeated the process. Now I told you it was a long way, well he was ten minutes away from his peg and the starting whistle went. He eventually got to his peg and and realizing he had to do something his first act was to throw a few balls of squats in and then preceded to set up. His approach was to set up a Milbro glass fibre rod with a 506 ABU reel loaded with two and half pound reel line, and use a 4 bb ducker float with size 18 hook. Now I know we live in the age of the mass produced synthetic plastic transparent float with out charm or character and with that some people may not of heard of a ducker float so as the saying goes a diagram is worth a 1000 words. so.

The Ducker float,

Dave had a roach to start with and with the introduction of ground bait started catching some nice size skimmers. But as things was starting to get into gear yet again another set back reared it’s ugly head and this time it was the reel, it was was not feeling right and the line was not running of as it should , so an important decision had to be made and made it was, so Dave broke of above the float made a loop, changed reels to a Mitchel 300 threaded the line through the rings again and rejoined up with his previous float and terminal tackle and carried on as before. Although it wasn’t plain sailing owing to the fact he had lost a few nice fish and had to change hook sizes he did catch quality fish consistently. A while into the match a crowd began to congregate behind Dave and his angling neighbours for this was D section, the section which was predicted by the pundits to produce the winner, as the match went on this angling congregation began to grow even more, the numbers quoted where between 200 to 300 people. Dave and his angling neighbours were pegged on a huge bream shoal that was the resultant of anglers walking to their pegs from Parchay and from Greylake and unnerving the fish towards the middle section which was of course D, an angling equivalent to Grouse beating. Now it all right having a favoured peg in a big match but can you keep your nerve and will you have enough angling prowess to achieve success.

The two photos above show some of the crowd that had gathered behind the anglers on the prolific D section.

The 5 hours were up the whistle was blown and it was now the time of reckoning, the time of judgement. The weigh in. This weighing in became a focus of great expectation and curiosity and hence the great thong of spectators who had gathered during the match now started inching forward to crowd around the anglers in D section with interest.

Winning match weights of 150 lb are not uncommon nowadays so you may be surprised that the match scales used on this particular day only went up to 10 lb. Yep that’s right just 10 lb, this type of scales where considered sufficient owing to the fact the people didn’t catch big weights in them days. So weighing in was no easy task and the scales had to be used several times for the weighing process for the anglers in D section. The huge bream shoal that was spread across a lot of D section did not make the scales men job easy as this massive shoal of fish created the fact that 7 anglers in a row amassed a total weight of 304 lb between them. The weighing of D section to the relief of the people who was on scales duty had come to an end and after quick calculations it was found that after early set backs Dave with a cool head and the right frame of mind achieved the winning weight of 76 lb 9oz, not only was this the winning weight of the 1965 National but it was a the highest winning in the history of Nationals at that time. A record that would stand for 25 years.

The long homeward journey back to Parchay bridge car park for Dave was a much more joyous occasion than the calamitous trek to his peg. For amongst the great ensemble of spectators who had watched the goings on was a few of Dave friends from the Rugby Federation team. The espirit de corps took hold and one guy carried his basket, another his rod holdall, and another friend his bait bay. What a jolly lot the Rugby Federation where.

Dave Burr the eventual winner landing a nice fish from peg D63.
Dave in action once again.
The moment of truth Dave Burr help to weigh his catch.

Below is the table of the results of the top 8 individuals

Note all these anglers were in section D.

PositionNameTeamWeight
1stD BurrRugby Federation76 lb 9 oz
2ndC CloughCoventry55 lb 3 oz
3rdR GwinnettDerby53 lb 8 oz
4thL LivardGreat Yarmouth52 lb 8oz
5thN A MumfordNotts Federation51 lb
6thN SwanGloucester AA48lb 14 oz
7thD CooperWarrington45 lb 5 oz
8thG D AdcockSpalding43 lb 6 oz
Dave the winner stepping up to the platform to get his rewards.
What a collection for Mr Burr.

Once back at HQ its was confirmed what everyone had suspected that Dave Burr was the overall winner and what added to a great day was the congratulations from one of the greatest anglers of his generation the great Billy Lane. Dave for his incredible achievement was awarded a plethora of cups and a few hundred quid to boot, courtesy of the bookies and the pools. Dave was far from being a one hit wonder indeed he was a regular winner of many big matches and went on to fish for England. Another point to note about this triumph was the weight that Dave caught was instrumental in helping his team to secure top spot and push the favourites Coventry in to 2nd place.

The top team positions.

PositionTeamWeight
1stRugby Federation93 lb 7oz
2ndCoventry and District86lb 3oz
3rdDerby A.A.70 lb 9oz
4thGloucester United A.A.70lb 7oz
5thNotts and District Federation65lb 15 oz
Colin Clough of Coventry who achieved 2nd place was pegged next to Dave Burr, Note the chop on the water.
One smiling R Gwinnett for Derby who was 3rd.
This is one of the bream caught by L Livard which helped him to 4th spot.
N Mumford playing a fish from peg D 62. He claimed 5th.
This young man is one 17 year old Nicholas Swan also from D section who finished a very creditable 6th .
Young Mr Swan again whose team was Gloucester.
This is Ralph Cooper of Warrington looking pleased with his efforts which gained him 7th spot.
Spalding Angler Mr G Adcock working hard for 8th.

An angler pegged next to Parchay bridge.

The dust from this match has long since settled and this far flung place, this stretch has now returned to its default setting of solitude and abandonment. Some of the angling brethren will give this stretch a character assassination. The arguments for such a case would be it’s to far to walk, the path is bad. the swims are crap. How do I know if there’s any fish there. etc. etc.

Once again this place reverts back to an angling outpost.
The once was section D now undisturbed, tranquil and serene.

These points are justifiable and some what warranted. The commercials have made angling hassle free and comfortable. These modern creations has made places like this more or less redundant and unwanted. I myself will not give this place any negativity or criticism for me it has a certain type of attractiveness an allure and appeal and hence in the summer I hope to do a video in some shape or form from here. Whether you are a person whose glass is half full or half empty on this place there is one thing however that you cannot do. You cannot and I shall repeat you cannot ever take away this locations history and its place in angling folklore.

Two foot notes from this match that I managed get from the angling press of the day.

Two stewards , Edwin and Brian David on J section on the river Huntspill at Woolavington bridge were horrified when a small car drew up and a man and two small boys got out. Complete with fishing tackle they approached the river, lined with the country’s best match anglers.

“what d’you think you’re doing?” asked the stewards .

“going fishing” was obivous reply.

Upon being told that they could not fish there then, the highly indignant reply was “why not everyone else is”.

The Coventry team who where the Man City of their day stayed on to fish a match on the Bridgwater and Taunton canal the next day (Sunday). The one and only Billy Lane had top weight of 4 lb 11 oz 2nd was Joe Dyer with 4 lb 6oz and 3rd was Norman Webb with just over 3 lb.

Billy Lane with his haul of trophies from a life time of fishing.

Acknowledgement. I want to thank the great man himself Dave Burr after conversing with him through email decided to send me spare copies of the Angling times and Angler’s Mail from that time. Dave I am truly grateful. Also I want to pay thanks to John Ellis who is the National Fisheries and Angling Manager for Canal and Rivers trust who helped me to get in to contact with Dave.

I obtained some information for the above post from an excellent book by John Essex entitled The National Angling Championships, in it Mr Essex has written in the chapter about the 1965 National. I quote “Congratulations to secretary Ray Perrett and the South, East, and West Somerset Federation for their brilliant organisation. Everything, including the coaches went with out a hitch”. Ray Parrett was a stalwart of angling in the Bridgwater and Somerset area. He fought tooth and nail to ensure the National in 1965 was held locally. Unfortunately Ray is no longer with us but owing to his contribution to the local angling fraternity I will do a post on him in the near future.

This post is late in coming owing to the fact that my broad band connection was down for nearly 2 weeks.

Until next time take care and tight lines.

Pete C.

Optional Winter Match fished at Parchay on the K.S.D on 31 October 2020

Once again we had to put up with the same weather as that of the Prince Edward islands (see last blog post). 8 people turned up and 1 took exception to the inclement ( a lovely word to describe the conditions) weather and fearing that later in the day that the Environment Agency would open up the flood gates and run the so called flood water of which would cause mayhem to the fishing, turned tail and went back home. So 7 hardy souls remained to battle and endure the remnants of hurricane Zeta and storm Aiden.

Before the draw Alan Bland was tasked to hand out what can only be described as a small gift on be half of a dear friend and doyen of the club one Tony Richards who alas has been suffering ill health and is unable to participate in his favourite pass time at present. So with thought and lovely gesture Tony gave a bag of ground to each member who turned up. Unfortunately Tony is unable to leave his house at present so Alan done the honours. Tony our thoughts are with your in your difficult hour and on behalf of every recipient many thanks and get well soon.

Many Thanks Tony.

The Results

PositionAnglerweightPeg
1stRob Dodd11 lb 08 oz79
2ndPaul Smith11 lb 06 oz82
3rdDave Nash8 lb 09 oz84
4thAlan Bland5 lb 05 oz85
5thPete Curnow3lb 06 oz80
6thIan Townsend3 lb 02 oz81
DNWIEric SealeXXXXX86

First on the day was end pegger on peg 79 the one and only Rob Dodd. Rob had a simple approach that of whip with caster over hemp. This guy put 11 lb 08 oz on the scales.

Robs winning weight.

2nd top weight was Paul Smith, Paul was pipped by just 2 oz by Rob. Fishing mainly waggler with double red landed 11 lb 06 oz from peg 82. His method with the waggler was to fish the middle about 6 inches over depth with the tip sticking out more than usual to get decent size skimmers.

Thanks for the tip Paul.

2nd placed battling with the elements

3rd was Mr Dave Nash aka silvers bagger. Dave put together a net of 8 lb 09 oz. From 84 the method employed was waggler and maggot.

4th spot went to Alan Bland from peg 85 Alan the match secretary and a mighty fine job he does too, put on the scales 5 lb 05 oz. The tactics employed was short pole, maggot and caster.

5th spot was yours truly. I kept things simple with waggler and maggot. From peg 80 I managed to scrap together a weight of 3 lb 06 oz.

6th spot was Ian Townsend who could get the title of Mr inconsistent. Match before last DNWI (Sedges) , last match crushed it with a really good win at Summerhayes and now once again find himself at the wrong end of the table with a weight of 3 lb 02 oz from peg 81 . So next time it seems he is due another win. Ian did not have the best of starts by breaking his pole.

Eric Searle on peg 86 nearest the bridge DNWI. But fair shout to him he stuck at it to the bitter end. Eric did comment that at one stage he did not have a bite for 3 hours.

The norm before the start of the match if i am in the position of being ready before the of, is to get up from ones peg and have a wander up and down the bank and give abuse to the other competitors. This it seems is the only part of match fishing that I’m any good at. Any how this particular match I had just set up and was ready to disembark my peg when who should appear. None other than the eventual winner Rob Dodd. Conversation ensued and of course the subject was fishing. We both reminisced about our times in the juniors etc. Then it came to the subject of winning matches now people who are Au Fait with the local match angling scene will know that Mr Dodd is no stranger to winning the odd match or two.

” I have won a match myself Rob” Rob looked at me in such away that he seemed he was Startled. He recovered his composure “oh yea I remember the Huntspill” . he managed to utter.

“That was 2014 mate I won one more recent than that”

Taken aback once again “Really”

” Yep 3 year ago that knock up we had at Burton Springs”

After regaining back some sense of normality “oh yea I remember”

I went on to explain to the amusement of Rob that such a rare occasion warranted a memento, an item to be treasured to remind yours truly of what seemingly looks impossible can be achieved. So I have the the actual weighing sheet or in this case the back of a breakfast cereal packet. So where is this priceless piece of angling history kept. Well it is hanging not in the Albert and Victoria Museum or the Louvre Museum in Paris. But hangs like a soiled gym sock on a shower rod on the inside of the door to my fishing shed and folks here is the prove.

Okay once again we enter another period of lock down but unlike the 1st one we are able to go pleasure fishing. But I stress that match fishing is not permitted. So this means the next match after lock down which ends on December 2nd will be on the river Tone on December 5th.

Until next time don’t forget to bath or shower. Meet you guys on the other side.

Pete C

Parchay Match 12 September 2020

Parchay to Greylake stretch on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain.

The Kings Sedgemoor Drain has been on the Bridgwater AA ticket for many many years and has the fishing rights from Dunball to Greylake a continous stretch of about 8 miles. Now as a guy who likes looking at remote places on a map, one stretch has always intrigued me. The stretch in question is the stretch between Parchay and Greylake.

Here is a few approximate stats.

Parchay to Greylake is 3.7 miles or 5.94 km

Parchay to Bussex Bend is 1.24 miles or 1.99km

There is a foot bridge called Cradle bridge which is situated 1.98 miles or 3.19 km from Parchay bridge who’s only practical use is for the walker not for the run of the mill angler with all his or her gear. The nearest parking to this bridge is Burdenham farm which a tad under a kilo meter away. From here you go down a track then across a field, if that is not of putting to the match angler with trolley the bridge itself will be. It presents a formidable obstacle indeed owing to it’s width.

I know that some pike anglers use the bridge as a short cut to this stretch but there are not heavily burdened by the amount of tackle like the match or average pleasure angler. But all in in all the only practical way to this middle stretch is by the two road bridges.

So of I went for a hike on the north bank from Parchay to Greylake armed with camera to a place of rarity and seldomness, rarely visited and seldom fished. Once you get passed the first 500 yards which I must say does see a fair few anglers, but after you get a sense of the shunned and the neglected, alright there are a few places here to fish up towards Bussex bend, but this is mostly done from the opposite bank what is locally known as red track. Red track has the distinct advantage of one being able to drive one’s car right on to the bank. However this track only goes as far as the out fall of Andersea Rhyne which is 1.26 km from Parchay bridge. From there on the fishing is only practicable from the north bank.

Now Bussex bend it self is a great dissapointment, the thought of sitting on one’s seat box right on Bussex bend itself and casting a line is only fantasy for nature has decided to have her own way and has completely shrouded it in 5 foot tall reeds.

It’s when you turn the corner at Bussex bend the stretch takes on a new atmosphere a place of the remote and afar. The out back and the back of beyond. It wouldn’t surprise me if no one has fished this stretch for years. To call it a lonely place would do it a great injustice. The word lonely conjures up a world of sadness and melancholy, this couldn’t be further from the truth. One could say of this stretch from Bussex bend to Greylake that it’s a place wrapped up in a lovable desolation.

This is the approach to Craddle footbridge.

Now passing cradle bridge and continuing towards Greylake there is a stretch that is approximately 2.4 miles from Parchay bridge and about 220 yards before you hit where the Sowy river and Langacre rhyne enters the KSD. It is a stretch well worth noting, it is a place like no other on the drain, it is an ideal spot to hold a match. The banks are more or less level with the water and are completely flat. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words well instead of a picture I have a video which is just as good.

There is only one problem holding a match here and that is the remoteness of the place. Like I have already it is 2.4 miles from Parchay and 1.4 miles from Greylake. There is a track of sorts but not really suitable at all for the average family car.

Here is the above said stretch marked on the on the map.

The final 1.4 miles or so of KSD changes in character dramatically after passing where both the Sowy and the Langacre flows in to the Drain the water narrows considerably and in some places you can fish the far bank with a pole. There are a few indents in the rushes suitable for fishing and some of these look quite pleasant but these are very few and far between. Alas this stretch has all the hall marks of a water in decline, a fishery that has been neglected and shunned a venue where nature has taken over and has decided to stay.

Watchet angling match at Parchay 12 September 2020

It is the second time in a row now that the Watchet angling mob has had their match on the King Sedgemoor Drain at Parchay on the permanent pegs. (Bridgwater bank). This anomaly occurred because, put it simply the dilapidated state of the river Huntspill and thus the inability of any club being able to stage a match. Its saddens me to see the demise of this venue, a venue in its hey day held matches for the national angling championships which had attendances of over 700 anglers. I had an interesting conversation last week with the chairman of Bristol Amalgamated Fisheries a sprightly 85 year old guy called George who has been chairman for nearly 50 years among other things, he mentioned about the fact that the EA take in 14 million pounds in revenue from the sale of rod licences but only 1 million of this is put back in to angling. Well that explains the Huntspill then. Enough enough lets get on with the results.

PositionNameWieghtPeg
1stEric Searle12 lb 02 oz81
2ndAlan Bland11 lb 04 oz82
3rdPaul Smith11 lb 02 oz85
4thDave Nash10 lb 03 oz79
5thBob Pascoe9 lb 14 oz78
6thGeorge Fletcher8 lb 05 oz84
7thPete Curnow8 lb86
8thIan Townsend6 lb 12 oz77
9thDave Colley6 lb 07 oz80

1st on the day was none other than the Mr carp orientated Eric Searle who showed that he is becoming of a bit of an all rounder. Eric of of peg 81 amassed a net of 12 lb 02 oz. This was achieved by whip and maggot.

The winner.

2nd place went the clubs paste expert and match secretary Alan Bland. Forsaking his beloved paste Alan caught most of his fish on caster and pole for a weight of 11 lb 4 oz. His abode for the match was peg 82.

Alan with his now familiar hat.

3rd place went to Paul Smith on peg 85 who fish the waggler and whip with red maggot as the main bait. Now I let you guys in to a little secret at the end of the match he genuinely believed he had the lowest weight. A nice surprise then mate.

Paul Smith anxiously waiting.

4th was the winner of the previous match a certain Dave Nash. Dave who just could not pull it of this time had a weight of 10 lb 03 oz. Caster and sweetcorn on the whip was the method. Dave’s peg was 79.

Veteran angler Bob Pascoe was 5th on peg 78 with 9 lb 14 oz. Bob caught all his fish on caster.

6th place went to newcomer George Fletcher. Bolton Wanderers supporter George on peg 84 nabbed out 8 lb 05 oz using pole and whip with maggot as bait. Like me poor George had trouble with bloody Pike.

7th was yours truly on peg 86 with a total of 8 lb. I employed waggler and maggot.

8th was Ian Townsend who was 3rd last time but could only muster 6 lb 12 oz on this outing. Fishing the end peg number 77 Ian mostly used double caster on the pole. Luck was not with Ian as he lost a Tench at the net.

9th was NHS hero Dave Colley. Dave employed the pole and waggler with mainly maggot to eek out a weight of 6 lb 7 oz.

Point of note that me and Paul Smith did have quite a lot of Ruffe and Gudgeon.

There are 5 dates to note, these are for one of matches.

Possible venues in consideration are the River Cripps, B&T canal and even the North Drain.

Next match will be at Shiplate on the main lake in 2 weeks time on Sept 26th but this could be in jeopardy owing to new lock down rules and the fishery owners discretion.

Until then take care and don’t forget to change you clothes.

Tight line Pete C

Parchay Match 29 August 2020

Approaching my swim and surveying it surroundings and trying to take in the dilapidated state it portrayed. My mind wondered back to the time when I was in the army. It was 1981 and I was doing basic training. We had in our troop a very odd person indeed by the name of Egan, his first name escapes me. Now trust me he was odd. Odd by character and odd by physique. He was a mixture of wit, intelligence and boarder line insanity. But the strangest thing about Egan was his appearance. He was tall and gangly with a rather large head and a very wide mouth, in fact he reminded me of one of the robots on the Cadburys smash advert from the 1970s.

Get a broom handle stick a pumpkin on top and you will have an item with physical attributes as Egan. Egan’s head proved a problem for his beret and his cap badge. The cap badge should be aligned over the left eye and the beret should slope from left to right. But not for Egan owing to the configuration of his head the cap badge would end up over his nose and his beret would slope on both sides from the middle like a roof top. 

Now as time went on during this period of basic training all of us squaddies in the troop   became aware of Egan’s inability to run and it was becoming a concern for the training staff. Well this one day the squad went out for a run and it was during this run that we had notice that Egan was absent. When we returned to the sports field we had set of from we noticed Egan with 2 PT instructors. The squad was ordered to sit on the grass while the instructors tried to sort out Egan.  “right Egan all we want you to do is just run around the sports field and come back here”. Poor Egan this was well beyond his physical capabilities. “well get a move on Egan” Now what happened next has remained with me ever since. 

Egan started running up and down on the spot with his long lanky arms motionless at his sides, his head was going from side to side and his wide mouth was opening and closing and he  seemed to be taking in vast gulps of air. Someone in the squad remarked that Egan must be an alien and is unable to cope with our atmosphere. One of the instructors pointed his finger “go on Egan that way what the matter” But poor old Egan kept on running up and down on the spot and just kept making gulping noises. That was it, the other instructor got behind him and pushed him. That seemed to do the trick or so it seemed. With great gangling strides of he went head still going from side to side and his arms still motionless at side. This was the British army’s equivalent to Basil Fawlty alas after 50 yards he stopped. The poor fella just put his hands on his hips and start gasping, he just could not cut it when it came to running. “you’re not fit for purpose” yelled one of instructors. That was the very first time that I had ever heard that phrase. Now nearly 40 years on I am grabbing that phrase and using it to describe my peg bloody peg. Thanks to Dave Colley who lent me his reed cutter and Alan Jenkins who did the same with his weed rake and 30 minutes of my time the swim became just fishable and just fit for purpose. 

Unfit for purpose. The Egan peg.

The Results

PositionNameweightpeg
1stDave Nash21 lb69
2ndRob Dodd20 lb 06 oz86
3rdIan Townsend15 lb 12 oz79
4thPaul Smith9 lb 06 oz80
5thDave Gartenfeld9 lb 04 oz68
6thDave Colley8 lb 09 oz78
7thEric Searle8 lb 02 oz81
8thAlan Jenkins5 lb 10 oz77
9thAlan Bland5 lb 07 oz85
10thPete Curnow5 lb 01 oz83
11thBob Pascoe4 lb 12 oz84
12thPhil Dodd4 lb 02 oz82

Top spot went to Mr silvers basher himself Dave Nash with a good weight of 21 lb. Dave emloyed two and a meter whip with caster. 69 was Dave s peg.

Bugger me where did all these come from.

On peg 86 was 2nd placed angler Rob Dodd with another fine catch of 20 lb 06 oz. 5 meter whip fishing caster over hemp did the trick for Rob.

A smiling Mr Dodd with 2nd top weight.

3rd was Ian Townsend on peg 79 who used the pole and double caster to catch 15 lb 12 oz this included 2 nice size Tench. This was Ian’s first trip to this venue, a good result mate.

A very pleased Ian with 3rd top weight.

4th was Paul Smith who tempted out 9 lb 06 oz on waggler and caster. Also corn was used to eek out the better size fish. This all happened on peg 80.

Right behind Paul was Dave Gartenfeld with a respectable haul of 9 lb 04 oz from peg 68 . T op 2 plus 2 was used to obtain this catch. Now Dave actually managed quite a rarity indeed by landing a mirror Carp although weighing only 14 oz never or less quite a catch.

6th place went to Dave Colley with a weight of 8lb 9 oz. Dave method corn and maggot on the whip from peg 78.

7th top angler was Eric Searle on peg 81 with 8 lb 02 oz. Tactics used was whip with worm and maggot.

8th went to Alan Jenkins on peg 77 with a weight of 5lb 10oz using whip and pole with caster. Fair play to Alan who struggled with the bank owing to his bad knees, He gave a stiff upper lip and carried on regardless. Good on yer mate.

Alan Bland the match secretary occupied 9th spot with a haul of 5lb 07oz. The method employed was pole with caster worm and corn.

Yours truly managed 10th placing. Now I am not one for whinging but it took a good 30 minutes to hack down reeds and to rake out weed to make my peg which was peg 83 fishable. And at this stage I would like to pay thanks again to Dave Colley for lending me his reed cutter and Alan Jenkins for lending me his weed rake. Nice one Guys. Any how I managed to obtain a weight of 5 lb 01 oz from using waggler and maggot.

Bob Pascoe found himself in 11th place, fishing peg 84 he had a catch of 4 lb 12 oz. This was obtained from using top 2 plus 4 with maggot.

Number 12 was one Phil Dodd on peg 82 using maggot and waggler he managed to put on the scales 4 lb 02 oz.

The standing so far before the last match,

Okay guys the next match is at this venue again on Saturday August 12th.

So until then tight lines and don’t forget to change your clothes.

Pete C.

Watchet Angling winter league Rnd one 26/10/2019

Yes folks it’s that time of year again The clocks go back, Bridgwater carnival approaches and Christmas as they say is just around the corner, But most important the winter league. The time of overcast drizzle, rain, wind and cold.

The first round of the Watchet winter league took place on Saturday the 26th of October 2019. The venue being Parchay on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain. This was a first in a series of nine matches stretching to the last one on February 22nd next year.

Fate alas did play its part by family, work and other commitments which decimated the field of anglers from a possible of nine to just four. I myself was absent owing to work (PANTS!).

The conditions was not exactly favourable with strong winds and rain throughout the entirety of the match. The tow at the beginning was flowing towards down stream but in the last hour and a half the flow reversed. Owing to lack of numbers the pegging was such that one peg was next to the car park near the fence, the other 3 angler were pegged on the Bridgwater Bank on the first 3 pegs.

Paul Smith had top weight of 20lb 12oz. This top bag consisted of all roach, Paul who was a late arrival owing to the fact that he had forgot his bait used caster, hemp and tares. He fished short pole and whip. Paul fished the first peg in on the Bridgwater bank.

2nd top rod was match secretary Alan Bland who had amassed a weight of 18lb. This consisted of 2 tench one of one of 4lb 14oz and another of between 2 1/2 and 3lb. The rest of the catch was an equal amount of roach and perch Most of his catch including the 2 tench were taken on caster using the short pole. Permanent peg 85 was Alan’s spot.

3rd place Eric Searle who just fished the pole had 16 lb to his name all of small fish quite a good haul. Maggot was the main bait used Eric was the on permanent peg 86.

Bringing up the rear with never or less quite a decent weight of 9lb was Dave Nash who had the car park swim. Dave fish the whip with caster and hemp. Dave catch consisted of all smallish fish. One important point to note was that Dave had to pack up early owing to work commitments.

This picture was taken by Dave Nash who fished the car park swim. From L to R Paul Smith, Eric Searle and Alan Bland

All in all the weights were better than expected considering the conditions, so well done guys. Next match will be at Pawlett ponds on Saturday 9th November.