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