River Isle – Crown Winter League – 7th February 2010

Heavy rain on Friday and I was worried it might be off (wish it was now! but more of that later), no more wet stuff and the river looked perfect when I went over it on my way to the draw with a tinge of colour and pace. Once again there were only ten of us and Robin had put some new pegs in on the Hambridge stretch (which the club has now) along with Ashford and Isle Brewers. The golden peg was 125 and there was a really good chance it could go today. I stuck my hand in the bucket and the ball I pulled out had 12…….. 6 on it – bugger. Still it’s normally a decent small fish peg and Martin reckoned I’d frame off it (mind you he always says that!)

I got to the peg and it looked nice although the fish holding tree had been ripped out (good job!) but I still fancied it. Neil was the next peg downstream on 127 and Robin Cox was the lucky bugger to draw 125 and Roger Russell was above him on 123. I set up two Carbo’s (for a change!), one to fish the main body of the bend and the other to fish upstream in the shallows where the fish sometimes can be found. I started with double bronze maggot on a Kamasan B611 size 18 but a few digs from minnows soon saw me change to caster.

Three minnows on caster wasn’t a good sign so I shouted up to Neil to see if he’d caught, he hadn’t. I tried the shallow rig upstream convinced this must be where the fish were but another minnow provided the answer. I was already out of ideas, I did manage a small roach on caster but this proved to be a false dawn and it was rock hard. I decided to have a coffee and go for a walk, Neil had caught a minnow but was looking as pissed off as I felt so I wandered up to see how Rob was getting on in the flier. On reaching him I was amazed when he said he’d only had minnows, something is really wrong with the river at the moment, we’d been blaming frosts but we didn’t have that excuse this week. He did say Roger had landed a chub on 123.

I went back and decided to scale down, off came the 0.12mm and on went 0.08mm but did it make a difference? I’m not really sure, after another half an hour I started getting the odd bite and added a couple more tiny roach and gudgeon but was going nowhere fast. I was pinning my hopes on catching as the light faded but couldn’t see it. Neil came up, he hadn’t caught anything else and was going to pack up, he’d been up to see Robin who had just started catching and it looked like the golden ball was going for the second time in two weeks.

The golden last hour just didn’t happen and I ended up with 5 roach, 3 gudgeon and some minnows for 7oz – great! Roger had found another chub to weigh 5lb 3oz and despite Robin saying he didn’t have that, when he pulled his net out I knew he’d beaten that easily. He weighed 6lb 9oz and as Martin was top at Ashford with 3lb 8oz and the new pegs at Hambridge had been a bit of a flop with Malcolm top there with 10oz! Robin had won the golden peg and took home £125, well done mate. I was actually second in my five peg section which meant me and Martin are tied in the league on 10 points with Malcolm Levy in third with 14. I did take a pound off Janders who didn’t weigh but he didn’t come back for the results.

I can’t believe how bad the fishing was, my peg used to be a banker for 4-6lb and I’ve won matches in similar conditions with 14lb and 18lb, what is wrong with the place? Up until Xmas it fishes well with double figures needed to win and after Xmas it goes to rat shit with just odd chub showing. Next week is the Open (if you can call it that as we’ll get around a dozen people show up!) and I really need to catch some fish because this is getting demoralising.



Robin Cox – £125 better off




1 – Robin Cox (Ilminster) – 6lb 9oz
2 – Roger Russell (Ilminster) – 5lb 3oz
3 – Martin Heard (Tiverton) – 3lb 8oz


Posted by Jamie Rich

  1. I found this site very interesting. I worked at Chard Resi for Chip Carpenter who's family The Blackburns owned the lake from the mid 1980's as the P/T Fishery bailiff. Les B will remember me (Chris the local Bobby)
    I was lucky enough to be involved in some of the original stocking that took place in around 1985 to 1989.
    Looking at some of the photos evoke very fond memories aa I left Chard in 1989 and only returned a few times in the late 90's.
    Its wonderful to see how the hard work and dedication of the early stocking and clearance has produced a wonderful fishery.
    Chard Resi will always be one of my favourite places on earth.
    Tight Lines
    Chris Hammond


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