Match Fished at Combwich Match Lake on January 8th 2022

During the early 16th century a explorer by the name of Ferdinand Magellan decided to up sticks for a while and with the knowledge that it was impossible to sail of the edge of the world took his ship to the west coast of South America and sailed south. He ended up at a place he named himself called Tierra Del Fuego. Tierra Del Fuego is an archipelago at South America’s southern most tip. This Island group contains the famous Cape Horn and is home to the southern most settlements on earth out side Antarctica. The climate at these latitudes can only be described as cruel. The place is whiplashed by gale force winds and soaked by rain most of the time, the temperature rarely achieves 9 degrees in summer. The weather of Tierra Del Fuego has the classification by the meteorologists as a sub polar oceanic climate. This inhospitable climate has the same characteristics as the weather in the Faroes Islands and northern Iceland.

Mr Ferdinand Magellan.

Whilst there old Ferdo come across the native indigenous people called the Yaghan . Now these people were a very remarkable people indeed, they were remarkable not for any ground breaking scientific discoveries or that they built vast cities adorned with the latest technological achievements. No it was quite the opposite, they were remarkable by how extremely primitive they were. So primitive in fact that there wore little or no cloths, this could be deemed a money saver by the outside world, but alas this concept was completely lost on these people because they hadn’t even discovered currency either. These people were renowned for their complete indifference to the cold weather. These guys were often observed to sleep in the open completely unsheltered while the Europeans explorers shivered under blankets. This strange way of life came about because over time the Yaghan people had developed a significantly higher metabolism than the average humans allowing them to generate more internal heat thus helping them to combat the harsh conditions.

Hi guys want to fish a match I’ve just a place that will suit you right down to the ground

Well the match fished by the intrepid members of the Watchet Angling club on Saturday January the 8th could of done with the same DNA as the above members of the Yaghan tribe. For the weather that had to be endured at the Combwich match lake could only be described as sub polar oceanic. The wind howled, the rain poured and the knife sharp cold made a persistent presence. In other words and to cut straight to the ordinary bare bones language the weather was crap, very crap, bloody awful. So the six anglers who’d seemed that they had nothing better else to do may have lacked some of the DNA of the Yaghan people but this was probably counter balanced by the so called insanity gene.

The draw for the match was a rover or what some people refer to as a London draw.

so the order of choice of peg to fish was as follows.

Dave Nash

Pete Curnow

Alan Bland

Eric Searle

Paul Smith

Dave Colley.

The map of the match.

First on the day and no stranger to top position was ” I’ve got a new pair of water proofs” Paul Smith. Paul had a really cracking weight owing to the so called inclement weather of 9 lb 6oz. Top angler Paul fished at 13 meters with pinkie over F1 dark ground bait.

The winner.

In second place was none other than renowned silvers basher Dave Nash. Pinkie over once again F1 ground bait did the trick. Dave fished at varying distances and to his left. Dave ‘s not to be snubbed at weight was a healthy 5 lb 6oz.

Mr Nash.

With a jaw dropping 7oz yours truly found himself in a very remote 3rd place. I struggled at first (obviously) but after observing small fish topping I played the get out of jail card, I put on a very light rig and proceeded with a tactic which one see as damage limitation. I ended up with between 40 and 50 fish which appeared to be Bleak and Minnow hybrids. These microscopic creatures were lured to my keep net with pinkie and a Sensas ground bait could Ablettes.

A mind blowing 7oz.

Alan Bland our much beloved match secretary decided on a swim at the opposite end to the car park. Now Alan did catch fish, unfortunately they were Carp and our winter league being a silvers only did not count. But Mr Bland did manage to catch one small Rudd which was estimated to be 3/4 oz. The little beast got Alan 4th spot.

Alan just before the of.

Poor poor Dave Colley our much liked NHS hero had a torrid time. So much in fact that he couldn’t even muster a bite. Hence total weight of fish was zero. Poor Dave who now resides in Bristol hence he has a bit of a drive to get to some of the matches, summed it up “it made no difference to my weight if I stayed here or stayed at home”. But what ever the outcome he always wears a smile and certainly flies the flag for the “lets give it ago brigade”.

Dave Colley our much liked NHS hero giving it a go.

Eric Searle who decided to fish the opposite bank to most other people gave up the ghost an hour before the end. But one most give this guy some credit to turn up in the first place.

For it must be said that Eric does suffers from poor health and to last as long as he did in the appalling weather should be an effort of note. So see you next match mate.

This is Eric (honest) who put in an effort.
The results table.

With the match finished and most of the gear packed away it was time for the end of the match chin wag. The main topic was where to fish the next match. Well a few suggestions were made such as the KSD or the canal, I even suggested the South drain at Shapwick. But it seems likely now that conditions permitting it could be Gold Corner either on the Huntspill itself or the Cripps river. But failing that owing to our ability to endure there is always the southern tip of South America and the wonderful Tierra Del Fuego.

A probable next venue.

Once again the unsung heroes have been out and been applying their charitable efforts to improving the swims at Dunwear ponds. This jolly gang has greatly improved the gate swim which is located at the back of railway pit and is the swim nearest to the entrance on Sedgemoor road. The swim has been widen considerably and has been raked and cleared of most debris. Even up to the bank to the left which backs on to houses were a boat was needed. So once again guys a big big thank you from all concerned.

What a happy and cheerful lot these are.

It must be stressed the above people were not the entire gang, at the time this photo was taken there was some more volunteers improving the aptly name High Up swim on railway pit, so it hats of to them as well.

Swims like these are made by a group of people willing to give up their spare time for the benefit of other peoples enjoyment.

Well that all folks, take care and don’t forget to change your cloths.

Tight lines Pete C.

Match Fished at Wide Waters on 11th December 2021 and Dear Old Jack

11th of December 2021 saw five harden anglers chance their luck to spend a fruitful day away from a nice warm fire and bag up on the Bridgwater and Taunton canal. Most rang in sick. The draw which was like the last match which was (according which side of the fence your on) a rover or a London draw.

The draw takes place. Alan Bland (L) Dave Nash (M) Paul Smith (R).

Order of draw

Alan Bland 1

Eric Searle 2

Pete curnow 3

Paul Smith 4

Dave Nash 5

So of we jolly well went from the Boat and Anchor car park along the tow path towards wide waters and to the place of plenty. I decided to pick a swim about a 100 yards down from the bottle neck, the place where the canal narrows before it enters wide waters. The rest decided to huddle together right up to the bottle neck. This was handy just in case they all wanted to break in to a little sing song.

The so called map of the match.
No comment.

For yours truly setting up in the peg had the touch of all the calamity of a Norman Wisdom film. Hence in one moment of total and complete and utter stupidity and pure clumsiness your truly stood on his favourite waggler rod and ended its useful life. Gutted.

T here is one nice aspect about fishing the canal and it is the friendliness of some of the people you meet walking along the towpath. About 11.30 I got talking to a very pleasant gentleman who had stopped and asked me if I had any luck. We got talking and it came about his son was fishing Trinity and had just caught a few nice size carp. He then showed me a photo of his other son who also was a carper holding a fair size fish. But alias it transgressed that this young man had passed away nearly two year ago, cut short in the prime of life by bowl cancer. This resonated with me because three weeks back I had attended a funeral of a work mate who at the age of sixty two was also thwarted by bowel cancer. So for the next five minutes or so we just taught about our loses and the wonderful work that the Macmillian Nurses do and like wise the people who work at the St Margrets Hospice. My only regret was, I never got this guys name.

The wonderful Jack Hargreaves.

This was also the case for my next visitor who I recognised vaguely. It came about that he knew a few members of the Watchet angling club. We got yapping about the past, mostly about the demise of Bridgwater AA club matches and lack of youngsters taking up our beloved sport and indeed what they are missing by not being in the great out doors and enjoying the country side. “Talking of youngsters” I said. And told the story of Jack Hargreaves from that 70’s classic television series called Out of Town. Jack did a interview for a documentary about his tv series and also his life. In the program he mentions about a small charity he had set up, the purpose of which was to take groups of school kids from the inner cities who had never been to the countryside and show them what rural life was all about. Jack said the funny thing was that the most asked question he was asked from these groups was ” why do all the farmers always put their farm gates where all the mud is, why don’t they put the gates somewhere else”. This little saga certainly put a smile on my visitors face.

What a stupid place to put a farm gate.

With that this guy went of to talk to Eric Searle. On the way back he stopped at my peg “just seen Eric he haven’t had a bite you ought hear his descriptive language of what he thinks of this place” Now any one who knows carp maestro Eric will know his ability to, shall we say torture the English language. “I’ll be back later to give you a hand with your keep net at the weigh in” the familiar stranger said as he left. “yea right”

The winner.

Now what about the match itself. Paul Smith the silvers king once again took the honours with a handy haul of 8 lb 8oz. Paul made use of the whip with an assortment of baits (bread pinkie and maggot) Also implemented was the pole with worm and caster for the far side. Right at the death more or less at the whistle he managed to land a descent perch from this tactic.

Mr Nash who got 2nd.

In second place we find another angler who is adapt at catching silvers, one Mr David Nash. In his own words he just kept things simple with whip and pole fishing mostly at 4 meters out with maggot and feeding liquidised bread. His haul came to 5lb 6oz.

Yours truly.

Yours truly find himself in third with an un-breath taking catch of 1 lb 12 oz. Now let’s be a person who glass is half full here, I didn’t come last. For the first part of the match I didn’t have a bite, nowt, nothing, not a sausage, bugger all. So drastic measures were called for and I changed right down to a size 24 hook and 1 lb bottom. Yep for a swim that appeared to be absolutely devoid of fish this change certainly got me out of jail. The pole was used and pinkie was employed as the bait. Fishing 4 meters out seemed the most productive line.

The battle for 4th and last place was done by eye instead of the scales owing to lack of fish. Looking in to Eric Searle’s and Alan Bland’s keepnets and using our so called expert knowledge it was decided to give Eric 4oz for 4th and Alan 2oz for the wooden spoon.

Eric who knows a swear word or two.
The final table.

The next match in this little winter league series will be on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain at Parchay. On January the 8th 2022.

So logic dictates that there is no more matches until after christmas so it just left for me to say a merry christmas and a happy fish fulled new year to one and all.

Pete C.

Storm Arwen and the Irish Connection.

Storm Arwen as predicted had surely arrived with storm force winds which wouldn’t look out of place of the tip of Cape Horn and knifing cold which would be more at home in Siberia. Well with these conditions what type of people would actually be mad enough to fish a match. Take you pick from the list below.

1) Ones IQ is roughly the same as one shoe size.

2) Ones brain cells are misfiring in all directions.

3) Once arrived at a psychiatric hospital and was instantly turned away as a lost cause.

4) You actually counted the green hairs on the palms of your hand.

5) Searched for a gas leak with a lighted match.

6) Believe in father Christmas.

Originally this match was scheduled to be fished at Parchay on the KSD but owing to the fact that no one wanted to be guy roped to the bank and also as some one suggested because of the inclement weather it would be like fishing mid ocean. Hence the venue was changed to the match lake at Combwich. Probably the only sane element about this match.

A group discussion on how one managed to avoid the men in white coats.
Cheer up Eric and have a coffee.

In number one spot by a mile was one of the end peggers Paul Smith. Mr Smith Esq amassed a very creditable bag of silvers which tipped the scales at 9 lb 6 oz. In amongst his haul, a bit of a surprise this, was a handy size Tench caught at 8 meters. Paul although caught most of his fish at 13 meters alternating between maggot and pinkie. Hearty congratulations to him on what turned out to a very good weight on a extremely difficult day.

Well done Mr Smith.

2nd place want match angling stalwart and club secretary Alan Bland. Alan fished to his left from one of the pegs nearest the car park. He struggled in the first part of the competition but the sport picked up later on. Alan bagged a weight of 3 lb 11 oz.

Alan with his trade mark fag.

Dave Nash was 3rd with a catch of just 15 oz he had according to the watchet angling grapevine all his fish in the first hour and a bit.

Eric the carp bagger Searle struggled through most of the match. His result says it all 1 skimmer for 8 oz which was caught in the first hour then now’t. Nothing, not a sausage.

Mr Nash auditioning for Phantom of the Opera.

Yours truly had a more active time then most, yea straight up. I reckon I caught between 30 and 40 fish. Unfortunately in this game size does matter and on this occasion and in angling terms I wasn’t all that well endowed. My weight came to a meagre, a scantly 6 oz.

Making use of my telescopic lens.

Dave Colley our beloved NHS hero who resides in Bristol threw in the towel with about an hour to go. I had a thoughtful visit before he went. In his hand he had his total catch. About 5 or 6 small micro Rudd which appeared to be a day old. I duly took a photo, with that instead of donating them to John West he threw them back. Nothing wrong in that I hear you say but unfortunately when it comes to throwing them back Mr Colley is not all that accurate and all of his fish landed in my keep net. When it came to the weigh in it was decided not to take any action because the fish were that small it wouldn’t made the blindest bit of difference anyway.

It’s the taking part that counts Dave.

Before the match it was decided to do a so called London draw or a rover. Six anglers, so six pegs went in to the bag numbered 1 to 6. The person who pulled out peg 1 would have first choice to where to fish, the guy who pulled out peg 2 would have second choice etc etc and the poor guy who pulled out peg number six would have to take what was left.

Now it seems there is a slight connection with me who pulled out peg one and ended with a meagre 6 oz and this joke.

Q Why is it that the Irish have all the potatos and the Arabs have all the oil?

A Because the Irish had first choice.

The results.
The map of the match.
I thought that after the match I would help empty some bins

The next match for the Watchet club is on the canal at Huntsworth on 11th December, draw at 8:45am fishing from 10am until 3 pm.

Until then take care, tight lines and top of the morning to yer.

Pete C.

Match of Sorts Fished at Parchay on 13.11.2022

The match fished at this venue on the 17th of July of this year was spoilt by the mass battalions of the lets ruin the anglers day, see post if you haven’t a clue what the eck I am talking about. The proposed match that was to be fished on the 11th of September was thwarted by Lemnoideae ie Duckweed to me and you. So the people who like to swim, paddle board, canoe and dive bomb from Parchay bridge were prevented from carry out their pastime of ruining the match anglers day by the cold weather. The duckweed that was prevalent in September is probably bobbing up and down some where in the Bristol Channel after being flushed out in to the river Parrett. So it was all systems go.

The Friday before the match, a question was put forward about the numbers who would be fishing. Well an answer came back from our beloved match secretary, that if Alan Jenkins was to turn up it would be “Bo Derek”. Well I honestly believe that most people who read this blog will know who the voluptuous Miss Derek is. Was this lady who has the looks that could make mens legs turn to jelly be coming to join us? Was this lady who has the ability to make men swoon going to participate with the likes of Watchet angling club. Afraid not, in fact I have more chance to get to the top of mount Everest and back in just boxer shorts and flip flops then to be joined by the likes of Miss Derek. No indeed Bo Dereck in this context means Ten, apparently this lady starred in a film with Dudley Moore called simply 10, so there you have angling brethren a Bo Derek means 10. You learn something new every day!

Anyway what about the match itself, to put it plainly and to get straight to the point even if Miss Derek did turn up, it would still be a disappointment. First on the day was Silvers expert one Mr David Nash, Dave had the peg nearest to the bridge and managed to put together a winning weight of 1 lb 10oz. This Phenomenal weight was achieved mostly on the whip with red maggot. In second place with a head turning weight of 11oz (yes I am afraid it was that bad) was Brummie guy Ian Townsend.

Snapping at Ians heals in third place and this bugger took my pound of of me was our much liked NHS hero Dave Colley who amassed a back breaking weight of 7oz.

Carp basher and end pegger Eric Searle came 4th with 4 Perch which came to a mind blowing 3oz.

Eric who was pegged next to me, entertained me by singing several times and I emphasise the word several, the song Delihah. I asked him on one occasion what he had caught, the reply was “an elephant……. guess what I caught it on?” “Don’t know Eric a banana” “nope a rhinoceros”. The lack of bites and activity was it seems affecting peoples mental heath. (only kidding Eric).

There was a problem at the weigh that had to be solved for the placings, you have now had the 4 top weights. Tony Richards early in the match saw some sense, packed up and went home. That had left 4 of us who had fish to weigh. Unfortunately the scales are only calibrated to register ounces and pounds not milligrams. So to determine the placings Alan Bland, Paul Smith, Ian Grabham and yours truly stood in a circle with our hand out stretched and with our total catch in our palm for comparison. The placings where as follows 5th Ian Grabham, 6th Alan bland, 7th Paul Smith and me who got 8th.

So there you have it folks a match memorable for the wrong reasons.

The Morecombe and Wise show in the 1970’s on christmas day was compelling viewing and used to top the viewing figures with well over 20 million tuning in. One of the trade marks of the show was at the end. Ernie and Eric would do a rendition of the song “Bring me sunshine in your smile bring me laughter all the whle”

Like wise there was another popular TV show which had an end of show rendition that was The Good Old Days which based itself on the old time victorian music hall and the performers on stage and even the audience dressed accordingly. At the end of the show all the performers would get back on stage and with the audience participation all would sing “Down at the old Bull and Bush” Isn’t that lovely, they don’t make programmes like that any more.

So to mimic this, Watchet angling decided at the end of the match to do their own rendition with a song that would portray our wonderful culture at the club, to show our sophistication and mastery of the English language. To show of our social skills and our educational background and to boast of our standing in the world. But above all to express what a wonderful time we had.

A couple Fridays back my good friend John Hughes and I decided to fish Dunwear. The swim chosen was what some people call the point and others refer to it as the headland. I have mentioned before that way back in the 1970s when fishing Dunwear was much more popular than it is today that this swim was the number one swim and during the summer and autumn months you would be guaranteed cracking sport. It was so much favoured that certain people would come down from the midlands and the north, indeed from all over the country to fish it. But some people being what they are, used to stay in the swim for up to a week to the utter annoyance of we locals. Hence complaints were put forward to the powers that be at the time in Bridgwater angling circles and to cure this problem a rule was created stating that no angler or group of anglers were to occupy a swim for more than 24 hours. Just to stay on the point of how popular Dunwear was from a fishing point of view. Back in the days when the close season was enforced on ALL waters if you did not get to the ponds early on the opening day of the season June the 16th you would not get a swim at all. Bear in mind Dunwear ponds had many more swims that it has today. Well how did me and John do, well John was piking with dead bait and yours was fishing for anything that goes with a waggler. Well John had two knocks and I had a bite so to sum it up the sport wasn’t exactly over awing. But there is an element that I like about our beloved sport and that is you can have a bloody good gossip with your mate when the fish ain’t obliging. Something you can’t do if your playing football or rugby etc.

I am getting mixed reports about the fishing at Dunwear. Railway is still not producing, indeed the sport is, (to cut a fine point on the matter) diabolical. I was talking to one of the bailiffs and this is becoming a matter for concern. But lets end on a brighter note South pond is apparently producing good sport with plenty of decent size skimmers coming out as well as some nice Perch. Also bear in mind that there are plans to restock this pond early next year.

The next match for the Watchet club is 2 weeks time at Parchay once again with or without Bo Derek. If the fishing is going to be the same again I would think using a keep net would be a slight over kill or be like cracking a nut with a sledge hammer so I might take a tea cup instead.

Tight lines

Pete C

Winter League Match Fished at Combwich Match Lake on 30 October 2021.

This was the first of nine matches in the Watchet Angling winter league. The general consensus amongst the gang before the start was that it was going to be hard going and it was believed that five pound would be a good target weight. Some of the folk fished midweek and the outcome was that although silvers made an appearance so did some carp. However a lot of over night rain might make things difficult we just had to wait and see.

Well there was you could say a bit of a shock today but emphasis is on the word bit. The shock was not cataclysmic but never or less the shock did register slightly on the Richter scale in the realms of angling. Eric Searle Carp bagger extraordinaire actually won a silvers match. Eric who was situated on peg number 3 fished out to his right to the rope at 11 meters with wait for it 2 maggots and 2 pinkies on the hook. Eric fished over ground bait containing both maggots and caster. This winner did fish the margins to his left for the first part of the match but in his own angling vernacular “could only get ninjas” ( small fish to joe public) . All in all with the conditions not exactly perfect Eric’s winning weight of 11 lb 09 oz was definitely not to be sniffed at. So it’s a big well done to him.

2nd place went to the fella on peg 7 which was occupied by silvers expert Paul Smith. Paul who’s weight was a tidy 8 lb 03 oz was obtained by fishing 2 lines at 11 meters over chopped worm with maggot or pinkie on the hook. Paul did try an inside line but caught only an eel.

Alan Bland our much beloved match secretary found himself in third from peg 6. Fishing at 11meters with red maggot either double of single, Mr Bland in the end managed to put 7 lb 02 oz on the scales. Included in his catch were a couple of nice small tench. However there was an observation made about our match secretary from Paul Smith who was in the next peg to Alan. “I have never known a guy to burp and break wind so much” An accolade that Alan just might be proud of.

Dave Nash who on arrivial seemed to take a fair while in deciding were to park. Driving in to the car park, then reversing back again Stopping on the track having a good look, then once again exiting the car park completely for about two to three minutes. At this stage a few club members who saw this performance honestly thought he had changed his mind and gone back home. But he did return to eventually draw out peg 9 and catch a weight of 6 lb 9 oz which got him 4th . Pole and his favourite method the waggler was employed. A fair amount of his haul was caught on the top three straight out in front. Red maggot was the bait.

Nigel Coram who finished 5th on peg 5 managed to put 4 lb 14 oz on the scales But fishing the peg was very difficult for poor Nigel. Owing to the characteristics and the position of the peg, sunlight shining on the water with the breeze making a strong ripple made seeing ones float very hard. So full marks for perseverance. Method employed was maggot over ground bait at 12 meters.

Yours truly one Pete Curnow struggled throughout on peg 8. I managed to put a measly 1 lb 10 oz on the scales. I started of on the waggler which at one stage seemed impossible to shot. Cast out and the float would stick out about and inch, add a number 10 shot and the bloody thing would sink. It had all the characteristics of some pole floats. However after much changing of different combinations of shotting, I managed to get it just right. However after and hour and a bit I managed with great difficulty to catch one small roach with the wag. So out came the pole and I started fishing the margins to my right and almost immediately caught a small Tench. To cut a long story short I stayed on this approach and had my fair share of micro rudd.

About 2 o’clock I hit a carp which on the the light elastic I was using I would have had more chance to become pope then to have landed it. So in the end I got snapped up. I stayed with the waggler for the last hour. Well I say the last hour, at 2.55pm the float goes under and it’s another bloody carp. Once again this time with the waggler rod I was using, a Drennan ultra light float rod which is capable handling 10 oz bottoms I had no chance. The action on this rod is superb for small fish. I once managed to hook a carp on this rod at Trinity Waters, I’d played it for 10 minutes and eventually got it to the net. But owing to the characteristics of the rod when I tried lifting the exhausted carp over into the landing net this rod just bent and bent and bent. With gritted teeth, closed eyes and praying like mad hoping the rod wouldn’t break I kept lifting the rod up but in the end the line gave way. So you see at 2.55 pm another carp and another snap up which happened almost immediately. So instead of setting up again I decided to pack up. The Combwich church clock chimed 3 o’clock so the whistle was imminent or so I thought. Mr Nash in the next peg along and with a look of bewilderment asked why I’d packed up.

Well at the draw I picked my peg out and more or less set out to get to my swim. But as most match anglers know, a lot of anglers loiter around immediately after the draw discussing and moaning how crap the peg they have just drawn is. But it was in this period a discussion took place and it was agreed that the match would be extended by half an hour until 3.30 pm. All well and good unfortunately no sod told me.

Dave Colley our NHS hero should be commended as this gentleman travels all the way from Bristol to fish the Watchet matches. But today there might have been a tiny element running around in his mind of was it worth it. For poor Dave could only put together 1 lb 08 oz for 7th place. Fishing on peg 10 Dave used the pole and maggot at varying distances, however to his credit he did land a small carp. But alias being a silvers only match it did not count. But what ever the out come Dave Colley always has a smile.

Poor Alan Jenkins at the end of the match decided not to weigh in his solitary fish a roach about 2oz and instead opted for DNWI next to his name. Alan however in the gist of things managed to land a couple carp. So he didn’t go home bored.

The next match in this winter league is down for November the 13th on the KSD at Parchay. But factoring in the inclement weathers ability to desposit vast amounts of rain and the expertise of the drain to turn itself in to a raging torrent, there is a probability that this venue might change to the canal at wide waters. So anticipating this scenario it is planned that on the 11th of November Alan Bland, Dave Nash and me will go down at midday and cut and rake swims out, but all is welcome to participate.

Tight lines to one and all

Pete C

Match fished by Watchet Angling and on Big Gripe.

Rob Dodd absolutely crushed it and left the rest in his wake. Roberts weight of 87 lb 04 oz was out standing considering the time of year and conditions. The cold nights and the amount of rain we had previous did not thwart once again inform Mr Dodd on peg 10 who implemented the pole at 16 meters to the island with maggot as bait.

Steve Warren who knows no different than to finish in the top four who has now been tagged as Mr consistent. Well finding himself in 2nd place Mr warren on peg 37 used pole and banded pellet to obtain a healthy weight considering, of 34 lb 14 oz. Well done indeed.

Brummie Ian Townsend in at number three used corn and maggots (five maggots on hook) with pole to catch 27 lb 11 oz on peg 6. To quote Mr Townsend ” it were bloody hard going” We know chum we were there.

What a good result for octogenarian Tony Rchards who just turned 84 years young. This angling veteran finished in 4th spot with a total weight of 20 lb 11oz. Tony’s swim which was peg 16 burst into life in the last half hour with a Carp and many good quality silvers. His bait was bread punch. To boot Tony took top silvers weight of 10 lb 04 oz a very fine performance to be sure.

Alan Bland during doing the weigh in was convinced he was going to end up near the bottom but was pleasantly surprised when his all Carp weight tipped the scales at 16 lb 02 oz and earned him a creditable 5th placing. Pole with maggot and meat from peg 36 got him 3 chunky Carp. Oh apparently a lot of swearing again was involved.

Out of sorts and white van man Nigel Coram found himself at number six. Nigel on peg 28 had a weight of 16 lb. Pole with maggot was used. Things could be on the the up.

Yours truly ended the match in 7th place. Fishing on peg 20 which I have named the micro pallet owing to it’s lack of size, I started of out in front at 11 meters with dead red maggots over micros but to use the local angling vernacular only had a few snots. All my Carp came from my left fishing to the pallet on peg 21 using corn as bait. Total weight was 15 lb 04 oz. Didn’t come last “brill”.

Top silvers basher one Paul Smith struggled throughout but managed to scrape together a combined weight of 15 lb 02 oz. Peg 8 was his abode and pole and maggot was method. No doubt things should improve once again for Paul who is never far away in the silvers table. Paul eneded the day in 8th.

9th was Dave Nash, Dave took things in to his stride and just fished the ordinary waggler. On road side peg number 34 he manged to put on the sca a total of 14 lb 08 oz. The bait used was either single or double maggot. This earned him 2nd in the silvers table.

Mr Philip Dodd occupied 10th spot with a haul of 8 lb. Phil once again employed his favourite tactic that of method feeder with dead maggot. Phil caught 2 Carp as well as some silvers from peg 32.

In at 11 was another octogenarian Bob Pascoe, Bob had drawn peg 39 next to the car park. For his endeavours he ended up with 7 lb 01oz by using pole and maggot. However Mr Pascoe did win a fiver for 3rd top silvers weight.

12th was Ian Grabham from Taunton who on peg 12 could only bring to the scales 5 lb 10 oz. Plan of attack for Mr Grabham was method feeder with pellet against the island. If I recall correctly this is Ian’s worst performance of the season.

Dave Colley who was Ian’s next door neighbour on peg 14 was pipped by Ian by a ounce for a weight of (do the math) 5 lb 09 oz Dave employed employed the feeder to the island. Mr colley finished in 13th.

Alan Jenkins slipped slightly back to second bottom from previous placings. Alan fished the roadside on peg 30. His all silvers catch came by using the pole and maggot for a total of 3 lb 09 oz. His words were “just couldn’t buy a Carp” in which Dave Nash replied ” you don’t buy them you catch them”.

Eric Searle was devoid of any type of luck on peg 18 poor Eric who normally catches Carp at will was flummoxed by the Carp just simply not obliging. He could only muster a total of 3 lb 02 oz which was caught by pole and maggot. Rest assured that if the Carp were cooperating he would have given Rob Dodd a run for his money.

The Results Table.
Top Silvers.

For match anglers or indeed pleasure anglers alike over a certain age will remember the time when matches could be held over the entire stretch of the Kings Sedgemoor drain about 8 miles. Back in 1965 when the Bridgwater Angling association hosted the the national angling championships over 600 anglers where peg on the KSD. But now move the clock forward to the present and great swathes of bank are now over grown and unfishable. A good example is Greylake, it is now imposible to hold a match next to the bridge like in days gone by. The the only viable stretches to hold a match now is Parchay. But some of the pegs there are a bit difficult to fish with anglers who got dodgy Knees and bad backs.

Well as some of you know a walk I did from Parchay bridge to Grey lake last year uncovered a really good stretch of bank that was more than capable of holding a match. That said stretch however is a bit remote. It is 1.2 mile from the car park at Greylake and trust me it takes over half an hour walk to get there. The stretch is 400 meters long which is ample for most club matches. The track that leads to it from Greylate car park is only suitable for 4 wheel drives and similar vehicles. The track is mostly on a peat based soil so is very susceptible to becoming very boggy and uneven during wet weather.

About two months ago I was talking to the chairman of Bridgwater Angling Association Nigel Gilland who was fishing the big pit at Dunwear. He mentioned that he often fish the above stretch and drives to it down the track. He also mentioned that the farmer who rents the land is helpful where the key to the gate is concerned. He also added that he could not understand why most matches on the KSD were always held at Parchay when you have got this stretch. Well sorting out the track which wouldn’t break the bank and slipping the farmer a bottle of whiskey, would make matches here possible.

October 14th just gone and game for anything me and my mate John Hughes (ex Somerset angling) decided on fishing some where different, opted on this stretch. Travelling light, of we set from Greylake car park on foot. It took us about 35 minutes to reach our destination. John set up just for pike and me, well I just set up a waggler rod. Results fish wise was very disappointing as neither of us had a bite. Also the swim I was fishing was blighted by streamer weed. But in a positive frame of mind. 1) the track can be sorted. 2) a few days before a match a few people could go down and rake the swims, no big deal. 3) on the way to the match one could stop of at the off license and buy a bottle of Johny Walker for the farmer.

Okay we caught no fish but to be honest the conditions wasn’t favourable. But staging a match here is very doable. A plan of action was spinning around in my head. After nearly four hours me and John decided to pack up. It was while I was waiting for John I looked towards my right and about a 150 meters away two men appeared. They were dressed in Hi Viz clothing and were armed with poles and a simple eletronic measuring device. Surveyors that what these two were. But what were they doing in this remote stretch? So curiosity got the better of me and of I went and meet up these two fellas. Point to note here is that these two were very friendly and approachable. And of course I did ask them what they were doing.

The answer astounded me. These men were contractors working for the Environment Agency and they were surveying the bank for a construction of what they described as a wildlife sanctuary. This haven for wild life would measure a 100 meters long. A ditch would be made that would run perpendicular for 6 meters to the bank then go at right angle which would run parallel to the bank and then turn toward the KSD again as to create a island in which plants shrubs and small trees would thrive. They say a diagram is worth a thousand words so have a look. So 100 meters of bank which could be used to stage a match has now been taken away. In fact it puts the whole idea of holding a match here very much in doubt. Bloody typical.

Now I have to say I am all for the saving of the environment and the preservation of wildlife, dont get me wrong here. And I honestly think the angling fraternity are of the same voice. But my gripe here is this. We had to walk over a mile to get to the stretch. Within that mile I would say there where five fishable swims. Only five owing to the bank being left with out maintance.

Talking to the surveyors, there are apparently and don’t quote me here but I thought they said there were going to be seven of this wildlife constructions altogether along the bank of the KSD. So if this is the case then that’s 0.7 km of bank being taking away from angling. No doubt the rent for the KSD which Bridgwater Angling Association pays to the EA will stay the same. If the same effort that is put into the building of these wild life habbitats was also used to improve the certain stretches of the KSD ie that mile of bank from Greylake car going towards Parchay. We could say that the EA rod licence and the rent that Bridgwater Angling Association pay (£10,000 per year for both the KSD and the Huntspill) was worth it. Is it worth it I let the Angling Brethern decide.

Unil next time

Tight lines Pete C

The History of Fishing the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

It is difficult to ascertain how long fishing has been possible on the canal. Hearsay and vague records indicate that it took place whilst there was commercial usage. Fragments of information apparently from far back from the 19th century suggest that it was often of a high standard. Some of the veteran anglers of the 1920s often spoke of ‘the days when the boats were running’ but had little to say how the navigation affected sport. They mention that it kept the channel clear of weed, but then of course weed growth did not present the problem it does today.

The date at which the Bridgwater Angling Association acquired the fishing rights may be a matter for dispute, but it must have been between 1907 and 1909. The commercial navigation ceased about this time. Records of merchandise carried were discontinued in 1907.

No trace of any negotiations involved remain. But what we know is that the rent demanded by the then owners, the Great Western Railway was £3 per year and £3 per year was charged for the towpath. The actual stretch which was obtained was from the Bridgwater docks to Maunsell lock. This stretch has been rented ever since. £1 was also charged by the Maunsell estate who had retained the fishing rights. So all in all the yearly rent at the time was £7.

During the time that the GWR owned the canal and contrary to believe by the locals, a high standard of maintenance was upheld. In fact it was obligatory by an act of parliament when the GWR purchased the canal from the previous owners. It was during world war two the maintenance on the canal went on a steep decline owing to lack of man power. After the war when the railways were nationalized the ownership of the canal came under the British Waterways Board. This is when the rot started but the canal was still required for the operation of the Bridgwater docks by supplying it with water, for without the canal water the docks could not operate.

But when the docks were closed to shipping and the supply of water was no longer needed the future of the canal was uncertain. This is when the Somerset Waterways Society played a major part in convincing the County council of the recreational value of the canal. Thus finance was obtained for a restoration of sorts and the canal was saved.

There is a veritable kaleidoscope of memories built up over a life of fishing on the canal. They come from the entire length of the canal. Wide waters at Huntsworth, Standards lock between Fordgate and North Newton and the so called Paul Reeds stretch which is located between the scrap yard bridge and the Squibblers Way on the out skirts of Bridgwater where very popular in the heyday of fishing the canal. The high bank at Durston has been an important place as regards to fishing as well.

But as popularity was concerned it was Wide Waters the anglers flocked to. It afforded the best fishing for the average angler. Wide Waters was a lay by for the barges and thus had the widest expanse of water which attracted the fish. Unfortunately the early 1970s saw the emergence of the M5 and the peace and tranquility of the place was gone for ever. I recall way back in the 1970s well known match fisherman from the local area fishing this place with large wagglers and worm for a good day bream fishing.

Standards lock is recalled with the lock house- long since demolished- and a Mr Ingram in residence. This gentlemen was always ready with information about the fish which was often quite visible in the clear water below the gates. One Bill Morrison who was one of the fore most roach experts in the southwest way back in the 1920s had a favourite spot down towards the row of willows on the opposite bank. The amount of quality roach found there back then was remarkable by all accounts. The main shoal came right under the main lock gates when feeding. The shoal believe it or not consisted largely of fish of about one and a half to one and three quarters of a pound. The bait that Bill Morrison used, Boiled Wheat.

Now the Paul Reeds stretch which has already been mentioned may not be one of the most scenic parts of the canal but it was certainly one of the most popular in the early part of the 20th century. Being nearer the town it was very convenient, especially for an evenings fishing. Over many seasons this length gave some of the best sport available. The favoured spots were the “Rushes” where the old course of the canal left towards the river. Tench were the principle quarry but any other canal fish could be expected and in the form of very good specimens. This stretch was notable for having been one of the main habitats of the original school of carp.

Prior to world war 2 there were several excellent and indeed quite famous stretches for fishing within the boundaries of the town of Bridgwater. The basin just outside the lock into the docks, and the tennis courts in the length at Hamp which is now referred as the YMCA stretch were popular and they were exceptionally good for roach and tench. The occasional chub often inhabited these lower parts. In fact in 1921 a considerable number appeared lying in line under the walls at West Street. Unfortunately they have not been seen in such numbers since. Perch was very much in abundance in the canal in those times and they added much to the attraction to the area. Very good roach were seen over most of the lower end (YMCA to the docks). Tragically neglect and low water has rendered most part of this stretch difficult for fishing. The length between Wembdon road and Victoria is only just over 2ft deep in the middle.

The ‘High Bank’ at Durston or the Lyng Embankment to give its proper name might be regarded as on of the most famous venues. It was here that so many of the early Association cup contests were fished. The winning of this cup was a mark of distinction for any match man worth his salt.

The ‘Newton Stretch’ between Standards Lock and Kings Lock being further afield , or at one time less easy to reach, was favoured by the few who were in search of unfrequented places. Here again all kinds of the fish of the canal were in abundance and it had a reputation for having the best stocks of pike. Many of the largest were caught in this length. The original quality of the fishing seems to have endured rather better than elsewhere for many years from early last century.

The water above North Newton – Kings Lock- was never well used in fact it was almost totally disregarded, But Banklands just below Maunsell lock has a particular charm. The channel goes through a cutting giving a feeling of shelter. It is a place where a long series of splendid catches can be remembered.

Just after the war the short stretch between the upper and lower Maunsell locks was carrying a stock of Roach remarkable even for that period. For several seasons it was one of the popular spots on the canal. It was here that one Bert Porter took a Roach of two pounds thirteen ounces, a record for the Association waters.

In the 1920s boating for pleasure began to take of on the canal. A guy called Hanson maintained a boat house at the first swing bridge -crossways- No longer there owing to the bridge for Squibblers way. The popularity of pleasure boating was such that it was done all year round not just in the summer months. The favourite trip was from Crossways to Fordgate and back. It was during this period that anglers who fished wide waters notice that most fish where not bothered by the disturbance. Except two spieces Carp and Tench. These two types of fish left the area for either Fordgate or the Paul Reeds stretch.

Back in 1928 the canal between Kings lock and Standards lock was drained in order to fit new lock gates at standards lock. It was dry or nearly so for several days. But the tench survived this so well that a good catch was possible about a week or so later. Assessment of the consequences for the roach is less easy to make, but recovery must have been rapid because the fishing had regained its former state within a few seasons. This occurrence prompts speculation that either environmental conditions or water quality used to be more favourable for fish. Also the instance shows that although the railway company maintained the canal so well there was little regard for the fishery.

In 1980 a book was published called Fishing Canals by Ken Cope. In it the author mentions the Bridgwater and Taunton canal. Here is an except “Roach, rudd , bream, tench and pike are the main species and they often reach specimen proportions. Big fish reported in the last three years include rudd to 2 lb 12 oz, roach to 2 lb 11 oz, tench over 5 lb and bream to 5 lb 6 oz. Bronze maggots, casters and bread flake are the most popular baits but many tench are taken on worms. Past records from the water reveal rudd of 3 lb 12 oz, roach of 2 lb 14 oz, pike 27 lb 4 oz and chub 5 lb 2 oz.”

As you can see the canal from an angling point of view has a very rich history indeed. But alas those anglers who are the mainstay of the history of the tow path have long passed away. But as one now wanders along the many stretches of the canal devoid of anglers there still linger in my mind an essence of fishing from long ago. People like you and me sitting on their wicker baskets and armed with their cane rod and peacock quill floats. But the anglers fished a canal whose personality has changed over the years. In those days there where many more places where one could just plonk one self down on the bank and have a dabble without worrying about hacking back the reeds or raking out the swim. The water way has now been blighted by neglect and encroachment of the ghastly weed and as a consequence the anglers have left in their droves. The future of the canal is uncertain lack of investment and the never ending threat of budget cuts puts development in doubt. As the saying goes “you never know what is around the corner” and in terms of the canal this certainly applies.

The building of the canal was started in 1822, this was the days before JCBs bulldozers and even steam shovels. The canal hard to believe was dug by hand wheel barrows, horses and picks and shovels where the main tools of the day. And for the record the canal was completed in 1824, and then it only went as far as Somerset bridge. The canal was extended through the town up to the docks in 1841. On average the navvies in building the canals burnt up an incredible 20,000 calories a day, As you can see it was pretty hard work. The navvies built the canal believing that it was for use of barge traffic and the transporting of cargo. But I wonder if they every realised that one day that the resultant of their hard labour would provide many hours of delightful pleasure for the people who partake in our much beloved sport that of angling.

Most of the material for this article came from a booklet that was obtainable from local tackle shops in the early 1980’s The booklet was titled The History of Bridgwater Angling Association by Harry Sutton. Harry was on the committee for many years and worked as a dentist in the town. I would like to thank the ex chairman of Bridgwater Angling Association John Hill for lending me a copy for without it the writing of this article would have not been possible.

Tight lines Pete C

Match Fished at the Sedges Tile Lake on 09/10/2021

Well as the saying goes you can’t keep a good man down and this was certainly the case with out of form Rob Dodd who smashed it with a very impressive weight (for the time of year and conditions) of 106 lb 09 oz. As usual Mr Dodd kept things simple with pole at 11m, 4 lb straight through and red maggot as bait. This feat was accomplished on end peg 29 on the road side.

2nd place went to Eric Searle. Eric who had peg 40 fished with feeder and pellet to the margins at first but without much success. Fishing straight out in front soon paid dividends and this is were he got the bulk of his fish from. This change helped him to a weight of 88 lb 12 oz.

Mr consistent and I say Mr consistent because I am trying to tempt fate here (only Joking) found himself in 3rd, and by Mr consistent I mean Steve Warren. This guy who resides in Clevedon alternated between pole and feeder on peg 38. He found the best bait to be pellet. 70 lb 01 oz was his haul.

Brummie Ian Townsend got 4th spot from peg 26 with a reasonable weight of 65 lb 09 oz. Every one was aghast one he said he had used corn instead of his favourite bait meat. But still it paid of for Ian who fished the pole at 11 meters.

The layed back approach which is normally employed by Phil Dodd got him into 5th place from peg number 27. Now Phil who was next to me said before the start of the match that he was wishing for a good day catching bream. Well every time he hooked a carp there was shall we say an element of moaning but one could sense there was a touch of humour attached to it. Using what else but method feeder with dead red maggot or worm got him 44 lb 05 oz of so called pesky carp but he did have 4 lb 1oz of silvers for a grand total of 48 lb 06 oz.

Young Ian Grabham took 6th spot from peg 23. Ian it seems brings half a tackle shop to his peg. This guy had a reasonable match with a not to be sniffed at weight of 47 lb 01 oz. His main approach was feeder stuffed with micros, wafters and expander pellet as bait. He really does enjoy his fishing because he always stays behind after the match for an extra hour or two. Good on yer mate.

Alan Jenkins is enjoying a reasonable season, for him anyway, normally keeping me company in the bottom two of the final placings, Alan had good days fishing and ended up in 7th. This happy go lucky character had a catch of 39 lb 04 oz from peg 25. He used a variety of tactics, such as pellet feeder and maggot and pole. Well done buddy.

Normally a silvers only bloke Bob Pascoe in 8th spot appeared to delve in to the so called dark side. Bobs carp net totalled 29 lb 14 oz and had a silvers net of 9lb for a grand total of 38 lb 14 oz. Pole and maggot was used from peg 36. He had 3 carp on his inside line.

Although down in the main results placings at number 9, Paul Smith once again is top of the silvers table with a good haul of 21 lb 13 oz. Paul achieved top silvers weight from peg 39. Mr Smith fished pole at 13 meters with worm as main bait. His total came to 29 lb 13 oz.

Now the powers that be, who hide in another dimension and who are responsible for statistical normality in the space time continuum and who were caught of guard last match, have been frantically busy over the last 2 weeks ironing out any irregularities, flukes or oddities that might occur and to ensure that life as will know it continues to exists as normal.. Well their hard work had certainly paid off, from winning the last match (the first in many years), I found myself in 10th spot this time. From peg 28 I did not have my first fish until ten to three, but still ended up with 28 lb 03 oz. Hence I had more action in the last hour then the previous five. All my fish where caught on the the method with micros and banded pellet.

In at 11 was match secretary Alan Bland. Poor Alan’s carp bashing methods seemed to have forsaken him. From peg 37 Mr Bland could only snare one carp, one of 10 lb 13 oz at that. His total came in at 16 lb 03 oz. When asked about methods employed his uttered words were “maggots and a lot of swearing”.

The lowest weight went to silvers guy David Nash. Finishing in at 12 place Mr Nash kept things simple by just employing ordinary waggler and using red maggot. Dave fished peg 22 for a weight of 14 lb 04 oz.

The final results.
The silvers table.

Once again this is a shorter post than usual as I am working on an article about the history of fishing the Bridgwater and Taunton canal which will hopefully be uploaded within the next few days.

So until then tight lines.

Pete C

Match Fished At Shiplate Fisheries Main Lake on September 25th 2021.

Just after 4 o’clock on Saturday 25th 2021 the map of the match angling world was redrawn. The gold plated form that states that certain people shall be denied top spot was put to the sword, plunged in to a shredder and the left overs set fire to. For on the above said time and day yours truly found himself with top weight in a match. Okay I have won matches before but never on a commercial.

I had thwarted a double whammy , last year in the same Match I had come last and last by a considerable distance 2nd last place had a weight of 34 lb 14oz and me in last place with a humbling 7 lb 12 oz. So the plan today was not to come last and to sweep under the carpet last years disaster.

At the draw I pulled peg 14B to a chorus of “best peg on the lake” or “give him the money now”. Well a month a go at Trinity Woodlands I drew out of the hat peg 14 which to again brought on the remarks “if you don’t win from there you want bloody shooting” or ” you need a minimum of 4 nets for that peg” etc, etc . Well the match ended and I was the only one who ended up with DNWI next to his name. Bloody typical. It appears that yours truly seems have a neutralising effect each time he pulls out the best peg.

So the scene is set

a) I do really crap at this venue.

b) I have drawn the best peg, a bad omen.

Well as you are aware it was a bad day for statistical data and I had won. So how did I achieve this so called freak result. Well things were kept simple. I casted half way to the island with a method feeder and banded pellet and catapulting in 8 mm pellets over the top. In the last hour I got 2 from the margins to my left. Enough from me boasting what about the others.

In second place was NHS hero Dave Colley who on peg 1 amassed a total of 81 lb which was 8oz less than me. His plan of attack was pole and margins with sweet corn and feeder to the island with banded pellet.

Third place went to Carp basher Eric Searle on peg 12 with 80lb 14 oz, beaten in to third by 2 oz. Feeder with worm was his tactic. Poor Eric is still suffering from sciatica and shortness of breath, so good effort you old warrior.

Steve Warren found himself in number four spot and at the start of the match mentioned that I might have tempted fate by referring to him as Mr consistent in passed reports. Well once again Mr consistent finds himself in the top four once again. Steve used pole and his favourite bait meat from peg 5 with 73 lb 1oz. Owing to the fact that match secretary Alan Bland missed only his second match since Victorian times owing to family commitments, Steve volunteered to run the match and a jolly good job he did to. Well done mate and thanks from all of us.

In 5th was Rob Dodd from peg 3, Robs weight for the day was a commendable 72 lb 3oz. His method of approach was pole with maggot over micros and ground bait. But one blessing was that Rob on the day won the Jotte memorial trophy. This trophy is won by the by the person with the biggest Carp on a certain match, and today was that match. A hefty lump of 16 lb 1oz won it for Rob.

Paul Smith who was 6th got golden peg 11 which incidentally was drawn out by me. Paul once again did a brilliant performance where the catching of silvers was concerned. A silvers weight of 39 lb 03 oz earned him top silvers weight. His total weight was 49 lb 2oz. Tactics employed was meat and corn with pole at 13 meters and top 2 plus 2. So it’s a big well done to him.

In number 7 spot was veteran angler Bob Pascoe. Bob achieved 2nd top silvers weight with 28 lb 3oz. and had an overall weight of 37 lb 14 oz. Bob employed maggot and pole from peg 7.

Slipping down the table to 8th from his normal top 5 spot we find Taunton guy Ian Grabham. Ian on peg 13 A employed paste on the pole and expanders as well as using a feeder. Total that was put on the scales was 35 lb 12 oz.

Ian Townsend at 9th placing in peg 14 who incidentally was my next door neighbour struggled at times but managed to put a respectable weight in the net of 32 lb 8oz. Plan of attack was pole and blown pellet.

10th was Phil Dodd who on peg 2 managed an incredible feat by landing a 14lb 8oz Carp on an ordinary waggler, size 18 hook and two and a half pound bottom. So it’s a hearty well done to him. Phil altogether put 29 lb 4 oz on the scales. Method employed was ordinary waggler with worm, and in his own words “thoroughly enjoyed himself”

In at 11 was another veteran angler one Tony Richards who is one of the south wests most knowledgeable bee keepers. Tony amassed a weight of 28 lb 2oz from peg 4 . Tony used bread punch to start of with but got plagued by of all things “Carp”. So opted for maggot. Thanks for the jar of honey mate.

Dave Nash 12th who did not stay for the weigh in had to get away early because h e was going on holiday. Had an all silvers catch of 24 lb 10 oz from peg13. I am presuming knowing Mr Nash that caster and maggot was used on the pole. Dave got 3rd silvers.

A bit out of sorts in 13th place was Nigel Coram on peg 8. Nige emloyed expander pellet over micros for an all silvers weight of 17 lb 08 oz.

Last at 14th we find the one and only Alan Jenkins. Alan who drew out peg 6 struggled throughout but as always this avuncular type character put a brave face on it. Alan used the pole and various bait for a haul of 14 lb 6 oz. Mate look at me there is always a chance.

A big thank you from Watchet Angling to Steve the owner of Shiplate fishery and his assistant John for doing the weigh in. And a mighty fine job they did too.

The final table.
Top 6 silvers.

This is a shorter blog post than usual owing to the fact that I have come across a fair amount of material on the history of Bridgwater Angling Association and I have been busy sifting through this for a future blog post, and I am afraid there is only so many hours in the day.

Until next time tight lines

Pete C.

Thwarted By Lemnoideae.

That group of social misfits, dropouts, pariahs and outcasts who find themselves under the collective banner of Watchet Angling club found that their match on the the Kings Sedgemoor Drain at Parchay had been switched to Combwich ponds match lake, owing to a mass invasion of Lemnoideae or Duckweed as it is known to the common man. There is a few interesting facts about this so called green menace.

Duckweed is eaten by humans in some parts of southeast Asia.

It contains more protein than soya beans.

NASA has identfied duckweed as a top candidate for growing food on Mars.

Duckweed plays a role in water conservation because the cover of duckweed will reduce evaporation.

Duckweed prolifergates by waterfowl and small mammals, transported inadvertently on their feet and bodies.

Researchers around the world are studying the prospects for using Duckweed as a source of clean renewable energy.

Duckweed removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus it may have possibilities in arresting global warming.

The Combwich match lake has been in existence for just less then 30 years. It came in to being as a result of a causeway being constructed and dissecting part of the so called shallow end of the main lake. It is now a fully mature venue with potential. The lake itself has over 20 pegs and although it is named the Combwich match lake, matches are seldom held there and is normally frequented by the pleasure angler. The old pallets which where in a very sorry state have now been replaced but it has to be mentioned that not all the pegs on the lake consists of pallets. The peg fees is £4 per peg which is a bargain considering a Bridgwater day ticket is a fiver.

Steve Warren from peg 1 smashed it on the day with a very creditable weight of 47 lb 01 oz. His tactics was to fish right under the tree on the island opposite with banded pellet. Since this maestro has joined us, records show he has not been out the top 4. So well done to him, Mr consistent.

Eric Seale got 2nd from peg 11 with a nice weight of 31 lb 02oz, Eric employed the feeder with banded pellet. Eric must be commended because he is rarely out of the top half of the results table and this is achieved even though his suffers badly from very poor health. Poor Eric has a lung disease which makes breathing very difficult and on top of that he suffers also from that very painful condition sciatica. So a very well done indeed.

In third we find white man van Mr Nigel Coram with a haul of 26 lb 13 oz . This gentleman found himself on peg 5 fishing of the island that was in front of him. When ask about tactics employed his answer was all sorts and with that got a comment from a certain member of ” Bertie Bassett”!

Another consistant angler finished 4th. Mr Ian Grabham who always end up in the higher portion of the results table drew out peg 12. Ians main attack was to use the feeder with an assortment of different baits including wafflers. Ian weighed in 21 lb 06 oz.

Fifth place went to Paul Smith, Paul had a cracking all silvers weight which in the mix of things really stood out. Paul whose weight of fish came to 19 lb 12 oz used pole with maggot and pinkie from peg 10. As you might expect Paul had the top silvers weight and for his efforts won the goldern peg as well. Looking at the silvers table you can see that Paul won the silvers by a very big margin. So hearty congratulations to him.

We see that Ian Townsend made sixth place with a net of 18 lb. His main bulk of fish came on the feeder, fishing between the two islands with pellet. Although a reasonable weight was acheived he did go through long periods without a bite which made him use the word dire. In peg 13 he was my next door neighbour and whilst I was setting up had to put up with yours truly moaning to myself owning to things that were not going to plan. Sorry mate.

Placed in seventh was match secretary and birthday boy Alan Bland who is now 58 years young. Alan managed a weight of 15 lb 03 oz. It was a mixture of bomb and pellet and pole and maggot from peg 6. Unfortunately for Alan he will not be able make the next match owing to having to attend his mothers 80th birthday celebrations. Since the start of Watchet angling club many many moons ago Alan has only missed two. A stalwart of the club indeed.

Out of sorts Rob Dodd could only muster eighth place and in terms of the the results table finds himself in unfamilar territory. Rob who fished peg 2 just piped me by 2 oz for 3rd silvers spot. (little bugger). Rod for his net of fish of 11 lb 02 oz mostly used pole and maggot but did have one small Carp on worm.

Ninth placed was the one and only David Nash. Dave who always targets the silvers regardless, obtained a haul of 9lb from peg 3. Dave employed pole and maggot. Now this little scamp took great pleasure during the weigh by bombarding me with black berries. Right Nashie learn to sleep with one eye open else you might find a scorpion down your W Fronts.

Veteran Alan Jenkins was at number ten. Alan who had drawn peg 7 managed to land 4 small Carp for a weight of 8 lb 10 oz. Method used was feeder with banded pellet. Good on yer Al you don’t seem to finish bottom any more, things are it seems improving.

Yours truly finds himself in the basement part of the table once more at eleventh from peg 14. I had an all silvers weight of 7lb 2 oz which in terms of silvers wasn’t a poor weight. This weight consisted of mostly nice sized skimmers all taken on red maggot and ordinary waggler. I did start of on the feeder for an hour but to no avail. Hence in hind sight I wished I started straight away on the waggler, but as they say that’s fishing.

Now dear old Bob Pascoe finds himself with the bottom weight. Rob Dodd who helps with the weigh in looks into Bobs keepnet and with total amazement utters one of angling most famous phrases. “Is that it” Bob who had peg 8 could only be described as suffering from fish poverty. The poor chap could only catch one small Roach which didn’t even tip the scales. So the weighing in team from the kindness of their heart and smitten by sympathy gave him an ounce.

The results table.
The silvers table.

The unsung heroes of the Bridgwater Angling Association ie the volunteers of the works party have been busy once more. The swims which are known as Killer and Helicopter has had a revamp and now have been gated of. The helicopter swim believe it or not has a tiny bit of history attached to it, way back in the day this swim was known as the Point or the Headland owing to its configuration of jutting out in to the lake. This swim was by far the best swim in Dunwear. Way back in the 1970s different groups of anglers carpers and pleasure anglers alike from far and wide used to occupy the swim days at a time and even up to a week. This unfair tactic caused a lot of friction amongst anglers, so much so that Bridgwater Angling Association brought in a rule that no angler or anglers should occupy a swim for more than 24 hours. This rule of course has now been relaxed.

Railway pond is now open to fishing , but it has to be said that catches have been very disappointing to say the least. The pond hasn’t been fished seriously for many many years. I would say around about 20. The life span of the average coarse fish excluding Carp is between 12 and 15 years. So it can be concluded that an entire generation of fish have come and gone without even seeing an anglers bait. The fish now in the pond are now the off spring of this generation and to quote from one of the greatest books on angling ever written Still Water Angling by an angling giant who have long since passed away Richard Walker “You will see, therefore, that the commonly held idea that the less a water is fished, the easier the fish it contains will be to catch, is only really true of such fish as roach, rudd, bream and small perch”. There has been the odd skimmer coming out and the small roach and rudd. But give it time and this lake can become a little gem. Take for example the match lake at Combwich, last year the fishing was dreadful but this season the fishing has improved significantly. So just give it time.

Well that’s all folks

Tight lines Pete C.