The venue listed on the match calendar was somewhere. Now being slightly sarcastic (who me) that could mean anywhere from White acres in Cornwall to some obscure lake on Shetland. Well things wasn’t as drastic as that. The first choice was Parchay on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain. But that idea was put paid to by the arrival of storm Dudley which decided to deluge parts of our much beloved Somerset with rain water in vast quantities. This in turn would initiate the powers to be to open every sluice every clyce and every type of gate responsible for flood control on the the KSD. Which in turn would create a situation where fishing would be impossible.
So the match lake at Combwich which is aptly named the sardine factory by our dear match secretary owing to the size of the fish caught by yours truly, was than promoted to first choice. Come Friday the eve before the match I gets a phone call from my good old mate the one and only Alan Jenkins. The subject of his message was that he had been in touch with a Bridgwater Angling bailiff Trevor Coombes, who promptly told him that because of the carnage caused by storm Eunice all Bridgwater waters were closed due to safety reasons. Well that put paid to Combwich then.
So a few phone calls were made and in the end it was decided that we had to rely on Jamie Cook from the Sedges to accommodate 4 anglers whose sanity is quite questionable. A venue was finally found and it was the canal lake.
We where thin on the ground with a meagre attendance of four. We were even lucky to get that! It had been doing the rounds that Paul Smith’s car had blown up and thus he wouldn’t have been able to make it. ( well I did warn him that parking in Moscow’s Red square with his car decorated with the Ukrainian flag was a bad idea) So out of the kindness of his heart Dave Nash went all the way from Bridgwater to Pilton to give Mr Smith a lift. Alan Bland our match secretary extraordinaire was working and the rest rang in sick or just said “up yours do you think I’m stupid.” or words to that effect.
Four anglers were it seemed were to endure rather than fish. The draw was a rover or as some people prefer to call it a London draw. I pulled out number one and had first choice so I opted for peg 41 in the car park but honestly owing to the conditions it didn’t really matter. The weather was brutal and inhumane, high winds and persistent rain dictated the day.
The fishing was from 10 until 3 but as the match got going it became apparent that staying until the end was going to be quite a challenge indeed. The wind picked up considerably accompanied by an improvement in rain fall. Holding a pole was becoming a bit of a problem, caused by the wind and the cold attacking ones fingers. At 1120 I had a few bits in the net but definitely nothing of note. I went to talk to my neighbour on the next peg Ian Grabham who as I approached caught his first fish, a small roach. He explained it took him about 5 minutes to put maggots on the hook because of frozen fingers verging on frost bite ( yes folks it was that bad). The cold was bitingly intense.
It was agreed among all concerned that there would be a decision made at 12. I went back to my peg and to top it all the zip on my so called water proof jacket busted. Wind and rain straight in my face with a malfunctioning water proof jacket, well you imagine. I caught a few more bits, 12 o’clock came, a conference of sorts was held and 1 o’clock was decided to be the finish time. A skimmer of about 12 oz was added to the net as well as some more bits. But a big relief came when it was the end of proceedings.
Congrats to Ian Grabham who had first spot with 3lb 6oz this consisted of mostly bits but also 2 nice size skimmers.
Yours truly with 1lb 12oz came 2nd with just bits and 1 nice skimmer, it would of helped if I could have held the pole straight.
Dave Nash and Paul Smith fought it out for 3rd place and it was a gnats whisker in it with 8oz and 7oz respectively. Both catches consisted of, guess what? all bits. The bait used by all who took part was maggot and pinkie. As is with life near the end it started to brighten up, but by then we all had had enough and some of us were thoroughly soaked to the skin. There was just one last thing to do concerning this match and that was to firmly place one ex water proof jacket in my wheelie bin.
Two points to note from the Bridgwater Angling prospective.
One, is that the club will know for certain when the restocking will take place for South Pond by this Friday. I have been told by Someone in the know that this will consist of a 125 carp between 2 and 5 pound.
Two, there will be a AGM for the Bridgwater Angling Association on the 15th of March at Bridgwater town hall. You have to show your full Bridgwater license on entry.
Scouts honour, part 2 of the history of Bridgwater Angling Association will be on the blog by the end of the week.
Until then tight lines