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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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 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.
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.