Brownes Pond and The Observers Book of Coarse Fishing

For people who do not know Brownes Pond in Bridgwater one can honestly say in terms of fishing venues go it’s more Old Kent Road as opposed to Park Lane or Mayfair. It location is its Achilles heel, for where it nestles between Elmwood avenue and the canal, as well as being a short walk from town and a stones throw from the so called notorious Hamp estate has seen this place became a beeline for some of societies undesirables, the low life of Bridgwater. The vast majority of visitors to the pond are decent people who come to enjoy the surroundings and the pleasures of being able to relax and take in the view offered by the pond itself. A few people however which can be truly be put in to the group marked Homo Waster has left their foot print around this venue in terms of beer cans, empty drink bottles and fast food wrappers etc oh and not forgetting that most symbolic item of this subset of civilization who destiny seems to be the benefits office, police cell and the probation service yep you’ve guessed it the used hypodermic needle. Drug dealers that scourge of scourges are known to frequent this place and make a few bob add a certain cloud of ruin to the area.

However with all the negatives that surround the place it still has enough strength in its character just to hold its head above water and provide a tolerable days fishing. Which by the way is free.

My first encounter of Brownes pond was way back in the mid seventies when the street gang decided to try something different and venture from the normal fishing haunt of Dunwear and try something new. Brownes pond was picked and the gang encountered their first fishing session at venue. What I remember from this trip is that it was the first time I caught fish on a first time visit to a venue. Soon after another visit resulted in me catching a small Tench but for reasons that have been lost in the mists of time. The place was never frequented by the gang again and Brownes was slowly forgotten and it faded from ones mind.

It was a while later after our 2 expeditions and the gang one sunny morning were sat on our front lawn dwelling on what we could do for the forth coming afternoon. “There he is there’s Mike” Mike was one of the gang but for some reason today he was later than usual. He was walking down the street heading our way. The manner in which he was walking was determined by the fact that he was reading a book. Mike was a tall lad and as a result he had a very big stride and big feet to match which was noted by us kids especially when one had to walk along side him. Owing to this characteristic he had the occasional nickname of the cartoon character Claude Hopper.

The one and only Claude Hopper.

But today his gait was more of an amble. The gang watched Mike approached the pavement outside our house with his eyes still fixated on the pages of the book he suddenly looked up realized that he had arrived at his intended destination altered course went up the garden path then crossed over onto the lawn and stopped at where we were. The gang were silent and all looked up at Mike. “good book” came a comment. Mike held the book in a way in which all could see and spoke ” This is the book that will do it for me” This was the first time I set eyes on the book The Observers Book Of Coarse Fishing by Peter Wheat.

This is my treasured copy bought in 1976 for 90 pence.

“Here have a ganders” and Mike gave the book to Dave who was nearest. Dave sat crossed legged and began to peer into the pages occasionally turning the book to get a better perception of some of the diagrams. Dave became engrossed and this lead the the rest of us to shimmy towards him and peer over his shoulder. A short while past and it was my turn to have a look. The book came with a dust jacket I opened the book at the front inside cover and flipped away part of the dust jacket that was covering part of a diagram. I look at the diagram (which is shown below) and immediately my thoughts were of Brownes Pond Why well have a look at the diagram and it depicts roughly the same characteristics.

The inside cover which made me think of Brownes Pond.

But this picture was taster of how the book was put together. This little gem of a fishing publication is some what hard to put into a specific category in terms of, is it a childrens book, is it an adults book or is it a reference book. Well in my humble opinion it is a mixture of all three. You can treat as you see fit.

But the over riding feature of this book that it draws you into a slightly surreal world, a world that every wants to be part of and wants to know a world made simple. Just look at the picture below.

Chilling out in an ideal world.

This was a book written in the days before poles and commericals so yea you can say it’s dated now but it deserves a place on all angling historians book shelves for its graceful and stylish manner. And the pleasingly, ingenious and simple portrayal of angling in the 1970’s. As a lasting tribute to this neat and well put together book every member of the gang within a month had bought a copy.

Peter Wheat wrote a few other books such as

The Fighting Barbel indeed Peter Wheat was for a while the president of the Barbel Society.

Also Mr. Wheat wrote Angling Down The Years.

But Peter Wheat also penned the book The Observers Book of Fly Fishing.

It is at this stage I would to give you a few facts about the humble Observer book publications.

The first book was on british bird published way way back in 1937.

In 1942 a special edition was published called Airplanes its main purpose was to help people in war time Britain to help spot enemy airplanes. Copies go for over £250 on Ebay.

There was in total a 101 different titles altogether, such subjects included

Common Fungi.

Mosses and Liver Wort.

Furniture.

Pottery and Porcelain

Sewing

Glass

and to cap it all brought out in 1999 was wait for it The Observer Book of Observer Books.

The Coming year

The fixture list for the forth coming match government policy permitting is listed below.

End of 2020 2021 Season.

Please note we are down to fish Landsend on April 24th but this clashes with the Angling Times Super cup. As far as the the Angling Times dated January 12th 2021 the competition is still going ahead but obviously this is subject to government policy. If the the Super cup goes ahead then the Landsend match will be on the 1st May.

Well lets hope this lockdown number 3 will soon pass.

But until then Tights Lines.

Pete C

The Resurrection of Dunwear Ponds.

There has been a right mixture of noises emulating from Dunwear Ponds on and of over the past 18 months, in the form of banging, bashing, clattering, hammering , sawing and grunting. These sounds of human endeavour come from a feisty band of fishing diehards who it seems have the insight and determination to bring these ponds that are etched in the very foundation of the Bridgwater Angling association a major make over and to pull them in to the 21st century. Inertia has been dispersed and a get up and go attitude now permeates through the echelons of the Bridgwater club. This band of the type of new broom sweeps clean merchants has recognized the fact that Dunwear ponds as a fishing venue was in decline a mish mash of over grown swims and busted pallets, dog mess and litter and the odd used hypodermic. Having a public right away which cuts through the ponds from Sedgemoor Road to Dunwear Lane attracts a problem of social misuse. The lets plonk ourselves down at the waters edge and get pissed brigade who in their own minds thinks it’s okay to take over swims and spoil it for the rest seemed to have made the place there own. In terms of the average angler spending a pleasant days fishing and not worrying about ones safety had became the stuff of the once was. Dunwear had become a basket case. large areas of the fishery took on the air of redundancy. A place of times past.

So without pulling rabbits out of hats, common sense has prevailed and a simple solution has been implemented to stop the undesirables, that section of society who delve into the art of leaving litter beer cans and used needles. This little group has now been thwarted by…. well they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Another gate has been put up to thwart the public from entering parts of South Pit.

These gates do not cure the problem of public access entirely as some swims are still accessible owing to the problem of the public right of way. But never or less this is a start. And a very good start it is to.

The erecting of gates and fences are not the only things that has been going on at the Dunwear complex. The renewal of pallets have been taking place. Now I know that the Carpers of Dunwear has given names to the most popular swims and pallets such as slopey, killer, pylon and a few others to boot. But not being a member of the Dunwear Carping fraternity I haven’t the foggiest what the names of the two pallets that are on big pit and that you get to from the back of north pond. Well names aside these two platforms has also been replaced by the gang and a mighty fine job they have done to. Not the easiest of things to construct but never or less this noticeable achievement should not go amiss.

This is the left hand pallet as you approach the two pallets from the bank of North pond.
This is the the pallet on the right.
This is the path that leads from the back of North pond to an island and then on the other side of the island is a path of planks leading to the two platforms.
This is the path on the other side of the island leading up to the right hand pallet.
The Pylon swim has also been given a make over.

Another great example of the work being done at the Dunwear complex is the railway pit. This quaint little pond had through many years of neglect evolved in to a semi quasi nature reserve. This was the location of where many a youngster of the Sydenham Comprehensive school (pre early eighties) served his fishing apprenticeship. It was an easy lake to fish, and was a good water to fish in winter. All parts of the pond was accessible There was three good size swims on the far side i.e. the railway bank. But over the ravages of time and complimented by the encroachment of nature these swims became inaccessible and abandoned and later they just became fond memories. But a jolly band of volunteers have took hold of the situation and armed with spades, shears, chainsaws and a mini digger gave the good old railway pit a major sorting out. The effort has paid of and once again the far bank is now usable.

As you can well see that the far bank has been cleared. This photo has been taken from the Sedgemoor road entrance.
This photo was taken looking towards the opposite end from the Sedgemoor road entrance.

However at the time of writing the pond is still closed. This pond however had became the victim over the last few years with the dreaded water primrose, the aquatic equivalent to Covid 19. This beastly water plant which took root at the Sedgemoor road end is classed as an invasive species. This heinous bio mass has the ability to form a very dense almost impenetrable mat and once taken hold has the wicked ability to deplete the oxygen levels in the affected water.

A place where they had a very bad case of Water Primrose, thankfully this was not Railway pit.

It further releases chemicals that suppresses other organisms leading to a build up of toxins and the poisoning of the water itself. This demon of water is also classed as a economic pest as its growth can impede waterways, drainage systems, and cause flooding. So you can see that there was as you might call a bit of a problem. But owing to contractors being called in the situation has been eradicated. So one can say Railway pond has been through the mill in recent years but the light is at the end of the tunnel it seems.

Things in angling terms these days are up in the air. The third lock down has caused a bit of surprise and confusion. First of all on the announcement of a 3rd lock down it was thought that angling would be permitted by the government. But the government being the government at first said no. Even the non anglers at my place of work were surprised at the decision. But owing to the intervention of the voice of angling the Angling Trust (I am a member and I urged every angler to join https://anglingtrust.net/ ) Boris and co changed their minds. But It seems that some waters are open and some has decided to be kept closed. At the time of this blog Bridgwater AA are allowing fishing but Amalgamated Fisheries who owns Pawlett ponds first said yes and then a day or so later said no to the opening of their waters. Like wise Landsend fisheries has decided to stay shut so they can do some maintenance. But Sedges according to their Facbook page will be open. So the lesson here is before you go fishing is check.

Before I go there was a couple a of photos that I missed off from I think two blog posts back and that was of the river Huntspill and showing how bad things have got with this venue.

This is from Withy Grove bridge looking towards the motorway.
From Withy Grove bridge looking towards Woolavington bridge.

So you can see why Bridgwater AA are not paying for this water any more and who can blame them. Totally unfishable.

Tight lines

Pete C

Winter Match Fished The Fast Stretch River Tone.

Years past they used to light beacons on the hilltops to send momentous news across the country. If such a practice was still in use today then the December night would have been lit from one end of the land to the other, The darkness of the night would have been eradicated. Come morning the town crier with red tunic, three corned hat, hand bell and scroll. Would shout hear “yee hear yee Match fishing is back god save the queen”

Good News.

But still social distancing still have to be observed and no kissing and cuddling is allowed.

So Match fishing is back and in the case of the Watchet club it was not marked by the most wondrous fire work display but by the proverbial damp squib.

Now a good old chin wag to ones self and counting the hairs on the palm of ones hand are as they say is the first signs of madness. But surely and what cannot be denied or disputed that the grey matter is on the way out and the brain cells are starting to misfire and the next level of mental agility is that of a life of ga ga is to fish the fast stretch of the river Tone in the conditions that greeted the Watchet mob on Saturday the 5th of December 2020.

Well 8 hardy souls with so called sound mental health took up the challenge.

Well from a personal point of view this is what happened. I set up one stick float rod and before the off had a fair few trots through the swim. The only way it seemed to get a clear run through and not hit any snags MOSTLY was to set the depth at 2.5 feet. Not ideal as the average depth was nearer 6. Whistle goes, and every time I trotted down one of two things happened. One’s float goes under ….. snag or if I did get a good run through I would always end up with a twig or leaf on the end of the hook. After about an hour I had enough twigs and leafs on the bank to build an Eagle nest.

Now the temperature was such that if the mercury in any out door thermometer in the locality was showing above freezing it meant either. a) it was broke b) it was lying. The weather was grim It rained and it was a good job I wasn’t a brass monkey else I would have ended up a eunuch.

Just after the hour my the float glided down and under it went. I struck, the rod bend, snag, a bloody big one at that too. I pulled on the rod and twang. Then I looked at the float at my feet, it was wrapped in line and shot minus me hook. I pondered and came to the conclusion that I had more chance of getting to the moon and back on a pogo stick than catching a fish. I was soaked and my fingers were numb owing to the conditions that would not look out of place at the north pole. My sanity triumphed and I decided to chuck in, throw in the towel, pack up. In doing so I calculated that I did at least do my bit and took some pressure of the NHS, because if I stayed any longer I would have had to go to the nearest casualty department and have my finger amputated owing to frost bite. Dave Nash had the same Idea and packed up half an hour later, leaving 6 hardly souls who no doubt was wishing for the men in white coats to come along, tap them on the shoulder and whisked them of to a nice warm padded cell.

But apparently perseverence did pay of or did it I’m not sure.

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

The winner of this most unmomerable match was Mr Philip Dodd. Phil pulled out of the draw bag ( well it was my hat really) peg number 4 which owing to the fact he pulls out this peg every time he fishes the place is now the aptly named Doddy’s peg. Phil fished maggot feeder and manged to get a Chub and Roach and by sheer angling skill it seems managed to lasso an eel.

2nd place was Brummie Ian Townsend with 2 fish a Chub and a Grayling for 2lb 8oz. The method used was feeder. I did speak to Ian just after I packed up, who at the time happened to be sat on his hands owing to the polar conditions and he was ruing the fact that he had a lift because if he came in his own car he would of packed up before me.

3rd was Robb Dodd whose weight was 1 lb 13 oz. This consisted of a Chub and a trout.

Paul Smith occuppied 4th spot with a weight of 1 lb 4 oz. This catch was made up of Roach, Minnows and a Chub. Paul used a varity of methods for his haul.

5th was Alan Bland whose only bite resulted in a Chub of 11 oz.

Dave Colley who stayed to the bitter end had no bites and deemed his peg unfishable. But should be mentioned for his persistence and possible insanity (only kidding).

Me and Dave Nash PUFO’d (packed up F**ked off).

Ringing Alan Bland for the post match debrief he mentioned a characteristic of the match or in particular the match venue in which every one I guess noticed subconsciously. The River Tone is of course a natural feature which has all the attributes like any other river, but this particular day the river came with extra baggage caused by the society we live in. This extra element reminded Alan of a certain game show that used to be on Auntie Beeb on Saturday evenings. This Stalwart of the entertainment establishment was none other than The Generation Game. So what is the connection between The Generation Game and the river Tone on this particular day. Well at the end part of the show was the conveyor belt which doesn’t need any introduction. So one is fishing away watching the water and the flow and in ones head you can hear the commentator of the show instead of saying a cuddly toy, a teasmaid, a toaster a ironing board etc One can hear him say, a coke can, a football, a British beer can, a foreign beer can, a crisp packet as all these objects passes ones peg.

From 1971 until 1977 the show was presented by the one and only Bruce Forsythe who later went on to present another game show Play Your Cards Right which featured the Brucie Bonus. Now hand on heart I bet no one had a bonus in this match.

The next match will be on January 9th 2021 on the fast stretch on the River Tone.

(Right where’s my pogo stick see if I can reach the Sea of Tranquility).

Tight lines

Pete C.

Two Great Loses.

So once again we are enduring another lock down. Lock down number two. Not as bad as the lock down we had in March because we can still go fishing. But not Match fishing, unfortunately. Now one angling club based in the West Midlands, one with the name Hankat Angling Society thought that they would chance their luck and hold a match during this lock down period but it seems that they have come unstuck and have received a warning from the Canal and Rivers Trust about the possibility of losing their fishing rights. Here is the except from the Canal and Rivers Trust website.

The Canal & River Trust (CRT) have written to HanKat Angling Society, based in the West Midlands, after a fishing match was held on a local canal at the weekend in contravention of the new Covid-19 regulations which includes restrictions on attending or organising public gatherings of more than two persons, including  sporting competitions. This was backed up by the Environment Agency and the Police. The offence attracts fines of up to £10,000.

So basically it is not worth the risk.

On the 8th of November 2020 a piece of angling history passed away and what a sizable piece it was too. Joss Saunders was the embodiment of the local match fishing fraternity for many years. His match fishing credentials were sounder than the bank of England and his reputation undisputable. Yours truly was in a prime position to get to know the grand master as his sister Molly and niece Susan where neighbours back in my School boy days. Such was Joss’s standing even before I even dreamt about going fishing I knew about his angling accomplishments.

My first real dealings with Joss was when I was nine and Joss must have been approaching forty. Joss’s niece Susan was part tomboy and a solid member of the street gang, Sue who was a year older than me would always tag along with the gang when we went fishing. Well I had just graduated from the days of dead lining over at the now defunct local ponds (Bower) to being in procession of my first rod and reel. This milestone in my angling career was achieved by my dear old dad buying me a Winfield beginners float fishing set from Woolworths. This iconic symbol of cheapness just, just managed to stay within the boundary of practicability.

This so called package consisted of a 6 foot spinning rod with plastic handle, one of the most basic manufactured fix spool reels ever made, which came with line on the spool. A packet of size 8 hooks which had 2 barbs on the shank and a packet of drilled bullet s for weights and a float which had the same size and shape as a duck egg.

I just tackled the rod up in the garden to the best of my extremely limited angling knowledge when a happy go lucky Susan appeared. She seemed just as excited as me about having a fishing rod. She beamed ” Uncle Joss has just arrived to visit mum I’ll take the rod in and show him and see what he says”. With that she took the made up rod went up to their back door opened it and with some delicate maneuvering entered and when able to, closed the door behind her. Now bare in mind the set up. A size 8 hook tied to roughly 10 lb line and 2 round drilled bullet weights knotted on the line to cock a oval shape float which had the same volume of a coke can. This was on par with presenting a plate of toast with a topping of cold cabbage to Gordon Ramsay and saying “do you think I will make it as the head chef of the Savoy”, Or a scribbled picture of a match stick man and saying to Leonardo Da Vinci do you think it is worthy to be hung in the same room as the Mona Lisa.

I waited outside for what seemed about 5 minutes, Susans’s back door open once again and at first I was greeted by the top ring of my rod and then next ring and so on until Sue had fully emerged. Her face was expressionless.

“well what did he say”

“hmm”

“your uncle Joss what did he say”

“hmm”

“Sue what did he say”

“oh he said…… he said…… He said it was heavy”

” Heavy”

“Yea that’s right he said it was heavy”

“Is that all he said”

“Yea thats’s all he said, he just said it was heavy”

(Naivety now takes over)

” I reckon he means it’s for heavy fish”

Sue replied ” yea I think so too”

I think Joss was being some what diplomatic.

I got to know Joss better as time went on. When I started fishing the senior matches with the Bridgwater club he was still very active with the match scene and he still seemed an un movable colossus still ahead of the game. Not once did I ever beat Joss in a match, he was the bench mark. He set the standard in which many could never reach.

From the Bridgwater Mercury from way back in 1970.

Joss lived in Bristol Road just a few doors up from me and we became really good friends indeed, such that I spent many an hour sat in one of his arm chairs in his front room holding conversation and 90% of the time the topic of course was fishing. But one particular time we were chatting he leaned forward in his chair and pointed to me in an unformal way ” you know Pete even if I had won a match I would always reflect back and think how could I’ve improved things what could I’ve done better to put more fish in the net” These words where from an angler who had the compulsion, the will and drive to win to be successful and successful he was. Rest in peace Joss.


Note not a trolley in sight.

Last month I thought I treat my self and buy a brand new book. Buying a book that is new is as rare as yours truly having top weight in a match. Owing to the fact that my book buying is done amongst the plethora of different charity shops that seem to have taken over the town, the review of this book however warranted me to dig deep in to the depths of ones pocket and purchase A book called The National Angling Championships by John Essex. This is a book that is well worth the money as it has over 460 pages. Using this well written and well researched book I went and picked out the amount of times the nationals were held down this neck of the woods. Here’s the list.

Note the number of teams in 1965. The number of anglers who took part then was a staggering 1320. It hard to imagine a match of that size and complexity being held nowadays. And holding it locally is now totally out of the question. The state of the river Huntspill is so decrepit now that even holding a small match now more or less impossible.

The last match that the Watchet mob fished on the Huntspill was on the 24th August 2019. This was fished at Woolavington on the Bridgwater bank going towards the motorway bridge. 10 anglers took part. I remember starting 20 minutes late in this match because I had to clear my peg.

So there you have it the results of probably the last match fished on the Huntspill by Watchet Angling Club. In terms of Match fishing the Huntspill it brought on the atmosphere of the bell, book and candle. The bell tolled, the book was closed, light a candle to match fishing on the Huntspill if you wish.

The next match with conditions allowing will be on the fast stretch of the River Tone on December 5th. (Government allowing).

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

Match Fished at Summerhayes Fisheries on Saturday 24th October 2020.

Located at 46°53′19″S 37°44′08″E lies the Prince Edward islands and for people who can’t do the calculations in their heads it a place that is situated in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. The Prince Edward islands consists of 2 islands, the main island and the largest is Marion island and the other is the aptly named Prince Edward island. These islands are administered by the government of South Africa. The islands have no permanent population. The only persons present are those at a research station.

These remote islands are home to 14 species of Petrel, 5 species of Albatross and 4 species of Penguins. The seas around the islands teem with the Patagonian Toothfish. Now there is a connection between the Match fished by Watchet angling club at Summerhayes on Saturday October 24th 2020 and these Islands. No there are no Penguins, Petrels or Albatrosses at Summerhayes or indeed Pete has not stocked his ponds with Patagonian Toothfish. Oh no but there is a connection and that connection is the bloody weather. These Islands on average receive rain 28 days per a month and having only roughly 800 hours of sunshine a year it is reputed to be the cloudiest place on the planet, and being in the path of the Roaring Forties is deemed to be the windiest location on earth.

A Patagonian Toothfish

This was the type of conditions that meet the angling warriors of the Watchet mob last saturday.

Pete had to put the light on in his hut to clear out the darkness. This said it all, clouds of battleship grey and darkest blue which laden the sky from horizon to horizon put paid to any sunlight. It was dim, grim and and unpleasantly cold. It was blustery and squally this was weather with attitude and spite. We anglers were buffeted, battered and bashed. But like the defenders at Rokes Drift we withstood and resisted we dug in and endured. The show went on regardless and all carried on to the bitter end.

Bites were at a premium and although weights weren’t catastrophic many an angler present has had better days.

The results

Well what a turn around in fortune for one Mr Ian Townsend, this gentleman if you remember packed up early in the last match owing to the fact he did not have a single bite. Hence being the recipient of  Abingdon Town FC award (see post Watchet Angling Club Winter League Match 5 11/01/2020) but boy what a come back. He certainly made amends this time with a very good performance by being top dog. From corner peg 8 Ian amassed a total of an all carp weight of 59 lb 13 oz. This was achieved with pole and corn.

The Winner.

2nd place was none other than Mr consistent Rob Dodd from car park peg 37. Poor Rob had the strong wind in his face, but that did not deter this maestro who managed to catch 36 lb 12 oz. Rob fished both margins and to the island with pole and maggot.

The runner up.

The NHS hero was 3rd, the one and only Dave Colley who made the long journey from Bristol. Dave who took my pound of of me (little beggar) fished peg 10 and put on the scales 20 lb 12 oz. This feat was achieved with feeder on the far side and maggot as bait.

Our NHS hero who got 3rd.

4th spot went to Eric Searle who managed 20 lb 08 oz. From roadside peg 28 Eric teased his fish with feeder and pellet.

5th went to slivers bagger Dave Nash who struggled on peg 32 in the first half with the pole. But improved things by switching to straight lead on the far side with maggot as bait. His total weight for the day was 20 lb 06 oz.

6th position was Mr architect Paul Smith. Paul had drawn peg 17 on the opposite side from the road . Like all anglers in his vicinity he struggled with the strong wind. But never or less put 16 lb 13 oz on the scales. Paul fished at 10 meters and down the edge with maggot.

Occuppying 7th spot was match secrectary Alan Bland. His home for the match was peg 30 on the road side. Mr bland managed to eek out 12 lb 10 oz all on pole and maggot.

8th was Bob Pascoe with sound mind and accumen on peg 12 acquired 11 lb 15 oz using pole and pinkie. Me and Bob had a walk around the lake before the start of the match and at the same time was having a good old chin wag “you know I was suprised that I had done better than I thouhght in the last Match ” spoke Bob ” well there you go Bob” I replied ” I was also suprised that you weren’t last” Bob responded. Thanks Bob.

Yours truly was 9th I scrapped together from peg 34 a weight of 11 lb 13 oz Although I did have some fish on expander at 10 meters. Most of my weight was caught from the margin to my left on white maggot.

Phil Dodd who fished in appalling conditions from peg 14 owing to the fact that he had the strong blustery wind and squally rain in his face, spent the entire match on the feeder for a result of 8 lb 11 oz. His bait was dead maggot. Phil finished 10th.

Next at 11th in the weights was my next door neighbour for the match Alan Jenkins AKA matrix man. Alan on peg 36 struggled through out and not having many bites did not seem to bother him because it was a good excuse to have a fag. Saying that Alan put 8 lb 02 oz on the scales his method was mainly pole with maggot and pinkie.

At 12th place and todays wooden spoonist was Dave Gartenfeld. Mr G did not have the best of pegs being on number 19. He put on the scales 2 lb 02 oz. His tactic was worm and maggot down the edge.

PositionAnglerSilversCarpTotalpeg
1stIan TownsendXXXX59 lb 13 oz59 lb 13 oz8
2ndRob Dodd5lb 12 oz31 lb36 lb 12 oz37
3rdDave Colley2 lb 14 oz17 lb 14 oz20 lb 12 oz10
4thEric Searle1 lb 07 oz19 lb 01 oz20 lb 08 oz28
5thDave Nash11 lb 04 oz9 lb 02 oz20 lb 06 oz32
7thPaul Smith5 lb 06 oz11 lb 07 oz16 lb 13 oz17
8thAlan Bland1 lb 01 oz11 lb 09 oz12 lb 10 oz30
9thBob Pascoe2 lb 06 oz9 lb 09 oz11 lb 15 oz12
10thPete Curnow3 lb 12 oz8 lb 01 oz11 lb 13 oz34
11thPhil Dodd1 lb 13 oz6 lb 14 oz8 lb 11 oz14
12 thAlan Jenkins02 oz8 lb8 lb 02 oz36
13thDave Gartenfeld2 lb 02 ozXXXX2 lb 02 oz19

This was the last Watchet club league match for 2020 and the fixtures begin again next year on March the 27th at once again Summerhayes on Sellicks. But in the meantime some of the die hards within the club will be fishing a series of one of matches throughout the winter break.

The fixture for this series of matches are listed below.

You will note that one of the fixtures is on the river Cripps at a place called middle bridge. Point of note for this venue is that it was once on the books of Bridgwater Angling Association but alas is no more. Hence it is free water, but bare in mind that a farmer either rents or own the land and hearsay says he can be a bit choosey whether he wants anglers on the banks or not. So be prepared for a change of venue. There is a map for people unfamiliar of the whereabouts of the proposed venue below.

Just to say that this blog is now one year old.

Well in true Bugs Bunny fashion just to say that’s all folks.

Pete C.

The Match on Brick lake The Sedges 10th October 2020

This is my pride and joy, this stands head and shoulders with my birth certificate and the deeds of my house. This is the first trophy for match fishing yours truly had won. 2nd place in the canal cup for Bridgwater juniors. One overcast day way way back in September 1977 armed with a 6 foot spinning rod, a black prince reel, 6 lb line, a under shot 3 swan antenna float, with size 10 hook and some grubby old maggots managed to catch a 1 lb 8 oz bream who was probably out all night in the reed beds getting stoned. The venue for this minor triumph was the Bridgwater and Taunton canal at North Newton. This was the place last Thursday the 8th October that me and a very good friend of mine John Hughes decided to fish. John as many of you will realise used to hang around behind the counter of Somerset Angling.

Gear unpacked from the car of we both trundled to the waters edge. Well that was the plan. To find the waters edge took longer than expected. We were both greeted by a water suffering from decline. A decline from what was a great little venue. This once was a flag ship water a place deemed worthy enough for the young budding fishing tribe from our street to attach one’s rod to the cross bar of one’s bike and to burden one’s back with wicker basket and cycle the 4 or so miles in convey to the water of plenty.

An affluence of swims welcomed the angler a water with upkeep attached. Many a fishing has taken place on its banks many a tale has been created by pleasure and match angler alike. But that as they say is history and now with the advent of modern thinking of the powers to be. The thoughts of the higher eschelons of who from their sanitized world make the rules and bow to hard line environmentalist who limited ideas reach as far as sod the angler and let every thing be turned over to nature. This stretch is now in a very dilapidated state of existence an item of neglect. It can’t even be called attractive to one eyes. Don’t these people with curtailed intellect realize that angling and nature can exist in an harmonized state. I think not. But life it seems goes on.

John Hughes with a 4lb Tench caught on the day from North Newton.

Anyhow with a little bit of a reconnaissance we managed to find 2 places to fish and to chill out .

We were joined later by a dear old friend that of on certain Roger Goodenough. Roger as they say is the angling equivalent of old school and who fishing style is no holds barred. His plan of attack today to lure any type of specimen was a size 8 hook single lob worm 8lb line straight through and his trusty centre pin reel. ( see what I mean no holds barred). Your may scratch your head at this unrefined approach but believe me Roger whose fishing haunts includes the remote abodes of the King Sedgemoor Drain and his favourite venue the small basin of the Bridgwater docks has had his fair share of whoopers.

John talking to angling stalwart Roger Goodenough.

The Match

When venue expert Rob Dodd tells you that the pond is of and just under 3 lb won the silvers in the last match In Robs own words “the lake has just switched off” you know that it’s going to be tough and boy was he right.

1st on the day fishing from corner peg number 20 was none other than maestro Paul Smith. Mr Smith fished straight out in front of him at 13 meters with worm and maggots for a reasonable haul (considering conditions) of 37 lb 06 oz.

2nd with a Carp only catch was Carp expert Eric Searle who fished feeder and pellet from peg 11, he managed to put on the scales 35 lb 04 oz.

3rd was Rob Dodd who only fished the pole. Fishing at 11 meters with double red maggot over ground bait managed a catch of 23 lb 03 oz from peg 9

Bob Pascoe occupied 4th spot from peg 6 with a catch of 17 lb 11 oz this reasonable weight was achieved by fishing top five with maggot.

5th placed from peg 12 was veteran fag smoker Alan Bland who accumulated an acceptable weight of 14 lb 02 oz all done on pole and maggot.

Using meat and pole and getting out of jail with a carp of 7 lb 08 oz was Dave Gartenfeld on peg 14 with 6th place, he did not have his first bite until well over 2 hours in to the match his total for the day was 11 lb 09 oz.

In 7th was veteran Phil Dodd who on the micro feeder obtained 11 lb 03 oz the bait was maggot and the peg was number 8.

Yours truly occupied 8th position this was mission accomplished as after the disaster of the last match, I did not want the bloody wooden spoon again. On peg 10 I achieved a weight of 6 lb 11 oz. I had a small Carp on feeder with corn but the bulk of the fish was caught on pole and maggot at 11 meters. (not last Yea).

9th was NHS hero Dave Colley who on peg 15 managed to scrape together a weight of 4 lb 09 oz all on short pole and maggot. Dave did have a nice Perch about a pound.

10th placed was Slivers basher Dave Nash who struggled throughout, Dave fished 2 and 1/2 meters with maggot for a weight of 3 lb 15 oz. For Dave, just to get this conditions must of been bad.

Alan Jenkins did not have a bite through out the match but gave a stiff upper lip and persevered until the bitter end. Good on yer mate for sticking it out.

Ian townsend was in the same boat and did not have a bite but packed up 30 minutes before the match hence mate you get the Abingdon Town FC award (see post Watchet Angling Club Winter League Match 5 11/01/2020)

The dates for the one of matches for the winter has now been confined and the list is shown below.

On the next blog I will publish the whereabouts and how to get to middle bridge on the Cripps river for people who not familiar with the place.

The next match is at Sumerhayes on Longs on october 24th.

Until then tight lines and don’t forget to shower or bath. ( I didn’t come last Yea).

Pete C

Match At Shiplate Fishery 26th September 2020

There are defeats, there are big defeats, there are humongous defeats and there are defeats on such a scale that one certain Pete Curnow suffered on the 26th September 2020 at Shiplate Fishery. It wasn’t a case of being handed the wooden spoon but more like being whacked as hard as possible over the head with one. This would have been an ideal situation to make a few bob advertising for Hamlet cigars. There was a series of adverts which presented scenes in which a guy having failed dismally at something is consoled by lighting a Hamlet cigar.. Have a reminder.

So picture the scene there is me watching a motionless float and catching sod all. There is splish splashing constantly from pegs either side. One watches the anglers on the far bank whose pole elastic seem always busy at work. One keeps looking at ones float whose sole purpose it seems is to be a resting place for dragon flies. So strike a match, queue the music, light my Hamlet and have a good puff and just take it on the chin.

The results.

PositionpegAnglerSilversCarpTotal
1st13Eric Searle7 lb 01 oz127 lb135 lb
2nd1Paul Smith5 lb 14 oz112 lb 06 oz118 lb 04 oz
3rd5Ian Townsend8 lb 08 oz73 lb 15 oz82 lb 07oz
4th3Bob Pascoe31lb 14 oz36 lb 02 oz68 lb
5th11Rob Dodd52 lb 06 oz14 lb66 lb 06 oz
6th4Dave Nash36 lb 06 oz28 lb 12 oz65 lb 02 oz
7th10Alan Bland10 lb 08 oz49 lb 01 oz59 lb 09 oz
8th7Phil Dodd15 lb 03 oz37 lb 04 oz52 lb 07 oz
9th12Dave Colley6 lb 04 oz32 lb 03 oz38 lb 07 oz
10th8Alan Jenkins15 lb 09 oz19 lb 09 oz34 lb 14 oz
11th6Pete Curnow 7 lb 12 oz xxxx7 lb 12 oz

Before the start of the match one Bob Pascoe was chosen to draw a name for the golden peg, the name drawn was Eric. Eric who is scared of getting the dreaded lurgies nominated me to draw his peg for him, and out popped 13. Eric in traditional fashion stated to have a whinge at yours truly because he had now the longest walk. He didn’t whinge after the match about the long walk back though.

First on the day from peg 13 was Carp expert Eric Searle. Eric tried bomb and pellet straight out in front but could only tempt 5 carp. The majority of his haul came down the edge on worm. Eric weighed in a grand total of 135 lb.

A smiling Eric (cherish the moment he doesn’t do it often LOL) with his golden peg winnings. Well done buddy.

In 2nd place was Paul Smith with another hefty weight of 118 lb 4 oz his method of attack was corn and pole down the edges. Peg number 1 was his abode.

Paul Smith at the weigh in.

3rd place was occupied by Ian Townsend who managed to put 82 lb 07 oz. on the scales by using meat, corn and soft pellet mostly on the pole. Ian landed as we say in the angling world a right munter of a Carp which weighed 16 lb 14 oz. This was all achieved on peg 5.

3rd place Ian who likes to make do.

4th was slivers basher Bob Pascoe with 68 lb of peg 3. He kept things simple with maggot and top 4 .

5th on peg 11 was grand master Rob Dodd who is normally in the top one, mustered a haul of 66 lb 06 oz. Mr Dodd had 80% of his fish on maggot, but did try worm and corn. All on the pole.

6th was another slivers basher Dave Nash on peg 4. Dave fished 6 meters and used caster and sweetcorn to put 65 lb on the scales.

In 7th was club match secretary Alan Bland. Alan had 2 plans of attack one was meat down the edge and number two was maggot out in front. His catch of of peg 10 was 59 lb 09 oz.

Occupying 8th place was veteran Phil Dodd. His only method was open end feeder with dead maggots, his weight for the day from peg 7 was 52 lb 07 oz.

9th position was NHS hero Dave Colley who on peg 12 caught a grand total of 38 lb 07 oz He had his slivers on maggot but all his Carp on sweet corn. All his Carp came in the last hour.

10th was the one and only Alan Jenkins AKA Mr Matrix Man, poor sod had the wind in his face all day. But Alan battled on and caught 34 lb 14 oz from peg 8.Alan employed mostly chopped worm and caster for his slivers and meat for his Carp.

11th was yours truly on peg 6 with a humbling 7lb 12 oz. The tactic employed was one that was never going to work and the bait used was the wrong one.

I did hook one carp but this was the result, it just wasn’t my day.

Now just to get my own back at the end of match like most anglers I throw my left over bait such as sweetcorn and meat etc in to the margins to feed the fish. But this time I took it home and put in my recycling bin. The fish weren’t going to get any freebies today.

So in true Winston Churchill style when things got tough he would say KBO.

So this is surely what I will do. KEEP BUGGERING ON.

The next match is At The Sedges on Brick Lake on the 10th October and this time I will bring a box of matches and a pack of Hamlet cigars just in case.

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

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.