The 7th of March 2020 and the members of the Watchet angling club do battle once again, in this the finale of the Watchet angling winter league. The venue is none other than one of the best fisheries in the south west The Sedges. When ever I think of this well run fishery my mind drifts back to the year 1980. Some facts of the 1980.
Prime minister was Margaret Thatcher.
Jimmy Carter was president of the United States.
Liverpool were champions of the football league.
Nottingham Forrest won the European cup.
West Ham beat Arsenal to win the FA cup.
Middlesex won the county championship.
Wimbledon was won by Bjorn Borg and for the ladies the winner was Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
The SAS stormed the Iranian embassy to end the terrorist siege.
And earth was saved from an alien invasion by a moon base, spacecraft with missiles, a fleet of submarines, track vehicles and a bloke with a blonde wig with a weird looking car. O come on people it true I saw it on the telly. Honest. LOOK
1980 is important to me because it was the year that I left school. It was in my terms the long hot summer, The summer of freedom. The time of change. The age of expectation. The future of choice beckoned.
Now one of things that stick in my mind from this tranquil period of happiness was fishing in south pit of Dunwear ponds with a friend of mine Chris Irish. We were fishing away and soaking up the atmosphere of the hope of catching, when one of Chris friends arrived. This friend had the physique of a well toned gorilla, the tattoos of an hells angel and the manner and charm of mister nice guy.
The conversation went a bit like this
Chris’s mate “I’m going fishing tomorrow”
Chris’s mate “Dunwear”
Me “which pond”
Chris’s mate “don’t know the ponds haven’t got names”
Me Rather puzzled “This is South pond, behind us is big pond over there next to the car park is Tench pit which joins on North and the one on the right coming in from Sedgemoor road is Railway pit”
Chris’s mate” yea I know” he replied with a smirk.
Chris at this point was just as confused as me “Which Dunwear are you on about then”
Chris’s mate “The one in Dunwear village the old chicken farm Arrigonis”
He went on to explain the directions of how to get there. “out of the car park turn right on to Dunwear lane under the motorway bridge follow the road around along the banks of the Parrett just pass the industrial estate there a lane next to a bungalow. Knock on the door pay a pound then go up the lane and there you are”.
After Chris’s mate left we carried on fishing for a bit then decided to pack up early and investigate. Thanks to the directions given we had no problems finding the lane and bungalow. We decided the next day to give it ago. We did and the rest is history.
The Sedges 40 year ago like most other things was far different than it is today. The canal lake did not exist. The entrance was in a different place and at most there where from memory 10 or 12 swims.
The first time we fished the sedges we were amazed, we were surprised, we were excited and we were chuffed. We had found the ponds of plenty and the lakes of abundance. This was a world apart from Dunwear ponds a place we knew so well, but Dunwear seemed to be a angling hangout in decline. Catches were poor and most swims seemed to be devoid of fish. The chances of catching a decent haul were slim. But in contrast the Sedges was how I envisaged angling should be. Okay it wasn’t a fish a chuck, but the fish were there. The average catch were skimmers between 4oz and ½ lb. And some times you had a net of 20 or more. It was around this time that I was a fan of probably one of the greatest angler that had ever lived. The one and only Ivan Marks, now in one of his books he mentioned about if the fishing is not so great try experimenting, alter your depth a little bit, change your shot around or a combination of both, Now if you did this in a swim that had no fish just like a lot of swims in Dunwear at that time well it didn’t matter, it was pointless. But going to a place like Sedges with fish aplenty it was an eye opener. When bites were beginning to tail off or were none existent a little bit of changing things around, 9 times out of 10 would bring results. But just to see this happen was encouraging. How many people who in their youth fished places with poor stocks only to be disappointed and hence drifted away to other sports and past times. I dare say if it wasn’t for a chance meeting with Mr well built nice guy with the tattoos in South pit Dunwear who told of the where abouts of Sedges I would have probably gone the same way, So you see I owe it to the Sedges for me still fishing today. So I hope you can now grasp that when I fish the Sedges my mind some time wonders back to that interlude in my youth between school and work and my angling enlightenment in a time of Maggie Thatcher, Jimmy Carter and a guy in a blonde wig. Good old Sedges long may you reign.
Enough of me going down memory lane there was the matter of a fishing match to report. First of all the turnout was very good with 4 guests joining the fun. The weather was dry and a wind was blowing up the pond from the main car park end to wards the canal lake. The sky was heavy laden with cloud.
Top weight was Mr consistent the one and only Rob Dodd. He had a weight of 18lb 14 oz, top man fished at 11 meters with double red maggot and double pinkie over ground bait, from peg 24.
2nd place was veteran angler John Barker whose fish tipped the scales at 17lb 12oz. John tempted his fish at just 4 meters on maggot. Mr Barker was on peg 27.
3rd was the winner of the winter league which he managed to achieve from winning the last match on the canal Paul Smith. In theory he did have to turn to claim the league but he thought he would turn up and do a bit of show boating. Paul had a catch of 9lb 9oz which was achieved by fishing at 13 meters on maggot. His catch included two nice Perch, the biggest weighed 2lb 7oz. Good one mate. All this of of peg 21 which wasn’t fancied much.
4th place went to one of the fairer sex, one of the guests Clare Middleton. This charming lady happens to be the daughter of Paul Smith. Clare was pegged next to her dad on peg 22. She put a respectable weight of 8lb 4oz on the scales. Clare revealed she fished at 11 meters with maggot and also had a inside line in which she feed caster. Well done my dear.
5th Was yours truly I drew out peg 29 and was immediately told that that in the last 3 matches this was the top slivers peg. (well lets give another peg a chance then). Owing to having a bad back I left the pole at home and opted to fish the ground bait feeder. My weight was 8lb 1 oz this consisted of 5 skimmer and one small roach. I had 2 skimmers fishing towards the island and 3 skimmers at 11 meters. The bait was double pinkie.
6th was another guest Ian Townsend who was on peg 38 which meant that Ian was up the middle on his own. Ian did try to fish the pole at length but owing to the wind he feared for the safety of his pole, so opted to fish at 4 meters with expander pellet. Ian weight in 7lb 8oz.
7th Was Dave Nash who was on peg 23 and had 5lb of fish. Heavens know what methods were employed because as soon as the whistle went for full time he was off like a shoot I have never known some one to pack up so quickly. The rumour was that some one had told him that his bank was on fire and had to save his cash.
8th Eric Searle had 4 bites in total and weighed in 4lb 15 oz. He fished the pole at 11 meters with maggot. Eric fished on peg 25.
9th was Dave Gartenfeld whose net was 4lb 8oz. Dave struggled on the pole and after a couple hours switched to the feeder and fished near the island for most of his fish. Mr Gartenfeld was next to me on peg 28.
10th place was Alan Bland with 4lb 4oz on peg 26.
11th was Alan Jenkins on peg 30 who could muster a few bites but no fish. Hence did DNW. Alan mate there is always next time.
|1st||Rob Dodd||18lb 4oz||24|
|2nd||John Barker||17lb 12oz||27|
|3rd||Paul Smith||9lb 9oz||21|
|4th||Clare Middleton||8lb 4oz||22|
|5th||Pete Curnow||8lb 1oz||29|
|6th||Ian Townsend||7lb 8oz||38|
|7th||Dave Nash||5lb –||23|
|8th||Eric Searle||4lb 15oz||25|
|9th||Dave Gartenfeld||4lb 8oz||28|
|10th||Alan Bland||4lb 4oz||26|
The Bait Tech cup round one draw.
Jinx v HLS Dads army v Watchet AC Black
Bath Spartans vWatchet AC Red
There is 2 proposed knock up matches
13th June Combwich main lake.
11 July Combwich match lake.
That’s all folks Tight lines.