2019 Yearly Review

January 2019

After an enjoyable little knock up at Sadborow over the festive period, a few of us arranged another before the Xmas break was over, I ended up on peg 7 and had a lovely day catching 28 carp and 2 decent skimmers for 85lb 15oz and first place picking up £60 plus the all important pound from the Tart.

A great start to the year

Then for round four of the V.E.S. Precision League, I drew exactly where I wanted, peg 109 at Redbridge but it hasn’t really happened and I had three small chub for 4lb to finish well down. Jake Woodard won with a fantastic 26lb 12oz of mainly roach from Hambridge.

I tried something a bit different for round five of the Ilminster Warehouse league and we headed to the River Parrett at Muchelney, Adie drew the first peg above the bridge for me and it was solid! I’ve had a lovely day catching roach, chub, silver bream, dace, a rudd, and a perch for 21lb 12oz and first place. Steve P was second with 9lb 1oz which included three chub and Terry was third with two big chub plus some roach for 7lb 11oz.

After some heavy rain it was touch or go for round five of the V.E.S. but it was fishable on Sunday morning and hopefully it would fine down during the day. I drew peg 112 at Redbridge, a swim I’ve never fished and have always wanted to although I thought it might be pushing through to much but on arriving, it looked perfect with odd fish topping. I’ve had a lovely steady day catching 48 roach, gudgeon, chublets and some lovely big dace for 8lb 5oz which I didn’t think would do any good but I sneaked into fourth place and picked up £20. Graham Field won with 12lb 12oz of roach from 125 at Isle Brewers.

The last match of the month was the penultimate round of the Warehouse League and with strong winds forecast we headed to the canal where hopefully it would be a bit more sheltered, it was gin clear and a struggle for most. I managed second place and picked up £45 with 21 roach and perch for 2lb 7oz behind Dave Phillips who had 3lb 10oz which included a bonus F1 carp.

Highlights – A lovely day to win at Muchelney
Lowlights – Struggling on 109

February 2019

We had lots of snow before round six of the V.E.S. league but the worst of it was gone by Sunday, I drew 126 at Isle Brewers and was happy with that as it’s been a consistent peg. I’ve caught all day to finish with 22lb 14oz of chublets, dace, gudgeon and some clonking roach for first place. Karl Aplin was second with 19lb 12oz from 125 and Digger was third with 11lb 4oz from H5.

What a fantastic days fishing!

With the river flooded, the open was switched to the pond and once again it’s fished rock hard, I didn’t have a bite for 45 mins and then lost a decent skimmer and thought I’d missed my chance. I started getting a few roach and then had a bonus 2lb skimbob five minutes from the end. My weight of 3lb 12oz was enough to win and I had a nice pick up of £100.

I went into the last Ilminster Warehouse league match, with a slender one point advantage over Fieldy, I drew two below the bridge at Muchelney and he was at Midelney. I’ve had a lovely day’s fishing catching 169 fish (mainly roach with the odd silver bream, chublet and perch) for 14lb 10oz but the lack of quality has cost me. Terry and Baz weighed 21lb 14oz and 20lb 6oz respectively so I finished third in my section. With Graham winning his section with 18lb 8oz of roach, he pipped me at the post to take the league title.

For the final V.E.S. match, I drew peg 112 at Redbridge and although not one of the fancied pegs, I still thought I might get a few but the five and half hours was pretty uneventful and my three minnows was last in the section and needless to say, my chances of league placing went out the window. Terry ‘The Toast’ had the top weight on the day with 13lb 8oz which also saw him take the league title ahead of Digger and Rob.

Highlights – Winning two matches
Lowlights – Blowing out in the final V.E.S. match

March 2019

The first match of the month was Barney’s Pairs Open and this year Hurf was my partner, he did us proud at the draw with 125 on the Isle for him and peg 4 at Dillington for me. The weather was horrendous with very strong winds and heavy rain, some of the worst conditions I’d ever fished in. It was a real struggle and I didn’t have a bite for an hour and a half, I finally started getting a few small roach and ended up with 28 fish for 1lb 10oz which was third on the pond behind Frank with 6lb 1oz and Leighton with 8lb 5oz, both caught skimmers and bream on the feeder.

Hurf was also third on the river and when the points were totted up, there were three pairs on six points so it went to combined weight, Rob and Leighton took the verdict with 11lb 3oz between them, just ahead of Terry and Baz with 10lb 11oz, we ended up in third spot with 7lb 6oz and picked up £27 each.

With nothing scheduled for the last weekend of the season we had a little knock up and with the forecast once again for strong winds, I was getting a bit fed up with it. It was great to see David Simms from Stoke club again and he brought Rob and Dan with him this time as well. We decided on using some swims at Mideleny along with a few at Isle Brewers and I would pay the overall winner and two sections. I pulled out the peg 2 at Midelney and was happy with that, I fished three sections to hand, adding another section later on and had a lovely day catching 107 fish (mainly roach along with a chublet, dace, silver bream, gudgeon and a couple of ruffe) for 15lb 12oz, first on the day and a nice pick up of £60. David won our section with 7lb 4oz which included a big chub and some quality roach and Baz was top at Isle Brewers with a nice mixed bag weighing 13lb 4oz.

We were at Sadborow for a little match the following week and I was disappointed to draw peg 4 after struggling on it the last time I drew it, even worse was the fact the Tart was on peg 5. I had a carp first chuck and eleven in the first hour, things then slowed up a bit but I caught odd fish to finish with 28 carp for 85lb 4oz which was second on the pond and I picked up £40 plus a shiny little nugget from the Tart.

I had a lovely days fishing to win my section with 85lb 4oz

Next up was a practice match at Perry St before the spring league started, I drew peg 13 and as always there were a fair few fish up in the water, I thought I’d catch shallow but it was really hard work and after an hour, I’d mugged one carp as had the Tart opposite but only a couple of carp had been caught. I mugged two more decent carp and also had two on corn short but missed a good bite just before the end which was costly as my five went 25lb but the Tart was third with 29lb and Picky had seven for 30lb, Paul Homewood had the top weight with nine for 36lb. I did win the section and picked up £40 but also had to give the Tart one of his pounds back.

The last match of the month was a little knock up at Sadborow after some swim clearing, I drew peg 7 and despite loads of carp swimming about, it was a real struggle, I only managed five carp for 15lb for nowhere. Les won from peg 8 with 32lb.

Highlights – Winning at Midelney
Lowlights – The bloody wind!

April 2019

Chard’s Spring League kicked off and I was on peg 7 at Perry St, despite there being loads of cruising carp, it was hard going for most. I ended up with seven carp for 35lb 1oz which won the section and I picked up £90 so a great start to the campaign and even better I took a nugget off the Tart as he was only second in his section at Sadborow.

My first match of the year at Summerhayes got off to a good start when I drew peg 32 but I’ve struggled for a dozen skimmers which went 7lb 15oz. Jeff Sparkes won the silvers again with 14lb 1oz and took yet another nugget off me.

I ventured down to the awesome Todber Manor for the Good Friday open and drew peg 83 on Homeground, my first time on that lake, I’ve had a fantastic days fishing catching skimmers, tench and roach on dead reds over groundbait to weigh 51lb 8oz which was second in the silvers and a nice pick up of £75.

51lb 8oz, an awesome days silvers fishing at Todber Manor

Next up was round two of the Spring League and I was on peg 5 at Sadborow, the pond has fished really hard with all the fish cruising and not interested in feeding. I managed 12 carp stalked shallow for 37lb 8oz and second behind Paul Homewood who had 39lb 10oz from peg 2.

With a week off work, I couldn’t resist another visit to Todber and drew peg 44 on Hill View, I had Des Shipp on my left and Mark Harper on my right so no pressure then! I got off to a great start with eight carp, a carassio and some silvers for around 20lb in the first hour but then the rain got heavier and the wind got worse and we were getting it straight in the chops. During the middle of the match I struggled before catching well again for the last half an hour. I ended up with 18lb 10oz of silvers and 49lb 4oz of carp for nowhere, Des won again with 196lb, Paul Holland was second with 195lb 2oz and Scotty Russell won the silvers with 38lb 12oz.

Something different for the last match of the month when a few of us went down to fish a charity match at Hogsbrook Lakes, a venue I haven’t fished for a long, long time. The day didn’t get off to a great start when my pole snapped at the number five section after about half an hour. It was quite hard going but I managed a couple of decent skimmers and a few roach for 2kg 650grms and nowhere but the day was about charity and with the raffle, mystery weight competition and an auction, an amazing £1808 was raised for Prostate Cancer.

Highlights – A lovely day on Homeground at Todber
Lowlights – Snapping my pole

May 2019

I had a double header over the Bank Holiday weekend to kick the month off, on the Sunday I was at Perry St for round three of the Spring League, I really fancied peg 5 and then only went and pulled it out the hat! It’s been the best peg in the section and when I mugged a decent carp second put in, I thought I was going to empty it! After that early fish I couldn’t catch shallow and had odd fish on the deck on meat to finish third in the section with 38lb 10oz behind Hoff with 52lb from peg 1 and Paul H with 51lb 2oz from peg 17. If I’m honest, I haven’t fished a good match and missed loads of bites, to make matters worse, the Tart had corner peg 10 and won the lake with 90lb taking a nugget off me in the process.

The following day I was at Summerhayes on Sellicks and caught odd skimmers during the day and I thought I’d done enough to win the silvers with 11lb 6oz but Chris Mawson had 14lb 7oz from peg 9, Bill Hopping weighed an impressive 168lb to win the carp pool.

Next up was a double header weekend, starting with Goodiford Mill on the Saturday, Shane picked me up and we had a lovely breakfast to start the day off, I drew number 8 which was an end peg and have caught carp shallow on and off all day for 37kg 950g, a nice days fishing apart from losing a nugget to the Tart. Sam Powell won comfortably with 96kg!

Part two saw me at Hebditch’s Pond for my first match with Stoke AA, as always it would be for charity and it was a bit of a marathon, we would fish four hours then have a break to weigh in and have something to eat before doing another four hours! I had a carp shallow first put in and caught four in the first hour but then it died and I only added two more in the first period. At the first weigh in, I had 22lb 11oz which put me second on the pond behind Dan Mattock.

The second half was pretty much a non starter for me and I only had two tiny little carp of around 3oz apiece until the last ten minutes when I had one shallow at 14.5 metres to give me a disappointing 4lb 5oz and a total of 27lb. Dan had caught four more carp which would see him win it with 39lb 7oz, I thought I might stay in second place but the other end has fished quite well and James W had 22lb 2oz to add to his earlier 11lb 1oz which pushed me down into third spot and I picked up £20. So a nice but very tiring couple of days.

After a fishing marathon, I ended up third with 27lb

Round four of the Spring League at Perry St and I drew peg 17 which I was really happy with but the wheels fell right off and my four carp and two skimmers went 21lb for a lowly three points and I’ve dropped to fourth in the league.

For my second match with Stoke we were at Todber Manor and I’ve drawn peg 40 on Hill View, started off trying to catch silvers but it was hard going so switched to carp and caught well but lost too many fish, I ended up with 102lb 4oz which was one out of the money, still a cracking days fishing.

The next day I fished the Bank Holiday Monday match on Longs at Summerhayes and had an enjoyable day catching skimmers and a tench for 11lb 9oz and second place picking up £40 behind Jeff Sparkes who had 20lb 14oz.

Highlights – Fishing lots of different venues
Lowlights – A bad result at Perry St

June 2019

I was at Sadborow for round five of the Spring League and hoping to avoid the two pegs behind the island but once again luck wasn’t on my side and I drew peg 5 for the second time in the series. Odd fish throughout the day helped me to avoid a disaster with 18 carp for 57lb 12oz and third in the section, picking up £30. I lost another nugget to the Tart who won with an impressive 130lb from peg 7.

The next Stoke match was at Trinity Waters and I had planned to fish for silvers but ended up fishing for carp halfway through, I finished up with 30lb 6oz of which 13lb 12oz was silvers which I won by default, picking up £20. Surprise of the day was catching a 2lb 5oz perch on corn! Kev Francis had the top weight with 60lb 12oz which included an eel over 3lb.

Round six of the spring league saw me back at Perry St and back on peg 5 with the Tart next door, he gave me a right spanking to win the section with 64lb 6oz to my 36lb 8oz which was third in the section and I picked up £30, I lost a couple of big fish, one that I had on for ages but they wouldn’t have made any difference.

The following weekend the Tart invited me down to fish a match at Lakeview fishery near Crediton, we got there and the fish were spawning which wasn’t a great start. I drew peg 1 with my nemesis on the next peg, we both struggled and I ended up with 17 carp for 36lb 8oz, the Tart didn’t weigh so I finally got one of my nuggets back. Smithy won with a brilliant 92lb 10oz.

The final match of the month was round seven of the league at Perry St and I drew peg 14 which has been a really consistent peg, I’ve had a lovely day catching shallow to finish up with 18 carp for 80lb 6oz and a section and lake win, just ahead of the Tart who had 80lb. With the superpool I picked up a very handy £95 plus another Torquay nugget.

I had 18 carp for 80lb 6oz

Highlights – Winning at Perry St
Lowlights – Losing too many fish!

July 2019

A double header to begin the month, first up was a match on the bottom Whitepost lake at Todber and I’ve had a bit of a nightmare, losing loads of fish and I ended up with 17kg for nowhere and worse still I lost a nugget to the Tart. Then on the Sunday we were on the River Parrett for the Stoke v Langport match and it was tough going with the end pegs dominating, I managed 30 fish for 700g and a section win by double default!

For the penultimate round of the Chard AC League we were at Sadborow and I drew peg 8 which I was fairly happy with but to cut a long story short, I’ve struggled and thought I was miles behind but at the weigh in, it was closer than I thought and my 20 carp, 2 skimmers and a perch went 61lb to finish one out of the money. The Tart won the section with over 94lb, taking yet another nugget off me in the process.

We were back at Sadborow the following Sunday for a knock up and when I drew peg 3, I really fancied it but just could not catch shallow and the pond has fished really hard. I ended up with seven carp on meat for 22lb and nowhere with Exeter Mike winning on peg 9 with 56lb 8oz.

The last match of the month was the finale of the Chard league and I got off to a dream start when I pulled peg 10 out of the hat. I had a carp shallow after a couple of minutes and thought I’d sack up but I’ve only had four fish shallow and couldn’t catch in the margins despite carp waving their fins at me. I caught quite well fishing banded pellet on the deck, catching eight carp and I wish I’d done it for longer. My thirteen carp went 49lb which was only worth a lowly 4 pts and I stayed in fifth place in the league, picking up £40. Bushy won on the day with 103lb which saw him win the league and it was also a golden ball so a profitable day for him. The Tart was runner up with Hoff in third place.

Highlights – Drawing peg 10
Lowlights – Not doing it justice!

August 2019

First match of the month was back at Summerhayes on Longs and I drew the same peg as last time, number 31 and I’ve had a lovely day catching some nice skimmers and a crucian (plus a fair few nuisance carp) to win the silvers and a place in the Champion of Champions final with 17lb 11oz. I picked up £31 plus a clean sweep of all three side bets including finally getting one off Jeff Sparkes who was second with 10lb 11oz. Roy Hughes won with 159lb 12oz and took home a bumper payday thanks to the golden ball fund.

Then I was at Dillington for my first match there since March and despite awful conditions it’s fished really well, I had five skimmers, a 2lb chub, a chublet plus a few bits for 10lb 6oz but I lost a 4-5lb bream at the net which was costly as 14lb was third. Rob Cox won with a nice net of bream and skimmers weighing 22lb 15oz.

The following weekend I had a double header at Summerhayes, Saturday on Longs was one of Barry’s ‘Carry On’ matches and with no silvers pool I had to fish for carp and didn’t do a very good job of it, I had 15 carp and 8lb of silvers for 55lb 15oz and a big thanks for coming, although I did take a pound off the Tart who had a worse day than I did. Sam Powell obliterated the match with 208lb.

On the Sunday we were on Sellicks and I had a lovely day on peg 5 catching skimmers along with three crucians for 14lb 7oz and first place in the silvers. Bill Hopping has the top weight with 202lb of carp on paste from peg 15.

I had another lovely days fishing to weigh 14lb 7oz of skimmers and crucians

Then with it being a Bank Holiday, I fished another double header, Dillington on Sunday and with it being scorching hot and the pond flat calm, I thought it might be hard going but it fished its head off! I drew peg 2 and had nine skimmers, a 4.5lb bream, two chub and some bits for 21lb 4oz which was only good enough for third place behind John Dursley with 21lb 6oz and Nick Payne with 24lb 7oz.

On the Monday I was on Longs at Summerhayes and drew peg 37 which I’ve never fished before and had a lovely days fishing catching 36 skimmers and 4 crucians for 21lb 5oz and first in the silvers, picking up £50.

Highlights – A hat-trick of silvers wins at Summerhayes
Lowlights – Losing that bream at Dillington

September 2019

Ilminster took on Stoke at Parrett Works to kick the month off, I drew peg 29 and had a really enjoyable day catching loads of gudgeon along with the odd roach and dace plus two chub, one of a pound and a half just before the end, to weigh 4lb 7oz which was the top weight on the day. I picked up £50 and we narrowly beat Stoke 13lb 8oz to 12lb 1oz.

An enjoyable days fishing to weigh 4lb 7oz of chub, roach, dace, gudgeon and a few minnows

Then it was back to Dillington where I drew spot on when I pulled out peg 19, after catching a few roach I went all out for skimmers but after four hours I’d only managed one but then I’ve started catching well and had six more skimmers, a big bream and a chublet for 17lb 10oz and second place behind Fieldy who had a pound more from peg 14.

Next up was another Stoke match the following Sunday, this time on the Canal lake at The Sedges, a venue I’ve not fished for probably twenty years! I drew a proper end peg bung hole but didn’t really do it justice losing way too many fish! I ended up with eleven carp and six skimmers for 35lb 9oz and second place, picking up £45. James White won with 44lb 6oz.

The following weekend I had a double header of matches I was really looking forward to, on the Saturday I was at Summerhayes for the Charlie Barnes memorial match on Longs. If I could have chosen a peg, I’d have gone for 35 and only went and pulled it out the bag! The trouble was that was the highlight of the day, I really struggled for ten skimmers for 4lb 10oz and nowhere. Gabriel Skarba won with a nice net of silvers weighing 17lb 11oz from peg 17.

On Sunday it was the first Bob Hammond memorial match at Dillington which was rod only and I would dearly have loved to have been the first name on the trophy kindly donated by Bob’s family. I came close with six skimmers and a decent bream for 12lb 10oz from peg 6 just behind Andy Saunders who won with 13lb 3oz from peg 2.

Another match I would dearly love to win is the Champion of Champions Silvers Final at Summerhayes, I drew peg 35 again and had ten skimmers for 5lb 1oz and nowhere once again. Roy Hughes was crowned the champion with 10lb 9oz of skimmers and roach from peg 29.

Highlights – Winning my first match with Stoke
Lowlights – Not doing very well on peg 35 (twice!)

October 2019

A rare opportunity arose to fish a pond I’d heard so much about over the years but never fished and I was really excited about it. I went out to have a look the day before and spent two and half hours raking swims. On the day I drew the peg I wanted but to cut a long story short, our end was a real struggle and my 11 perch weighed a massive 1lb 3oz which was second from last! Jake Woodard won with a lovely net of quality roach and rudd plus a tench for 14lb 6oz.

A rare days pleasure fishing with a mate saw me trying a new venue in the shape of Luccombes Fishery near Exeter and we had a lovely day catching crucians, tench, skimmers and the odd carp.

Then we were supposed to be on the river for the first round of the V.E.S. Precision league but heavy rain put paid to that so it was back to Dillington. I went all out for skimmers (and managed one) when I should have fished for roach as Terry ‘The Toast’ only needed 4lb 15oz to win on the day.

Round two of the Warehouse league and we fished a new stretch at Midelney, the river was high on Saturday but by the Sunday it was in good nick, Mosella boss Vic Bush was fishing his first match with us and had a lovely day on the whip and then the stick float to win with 13lb 9oz of mainly roach. I was next to him and came second with 7lb 7oz of mainly roach but I did have a nice bonus perch of 12oz, Tony Newman was third with 4lb 9oz which included some lovely roach.

Rain threatened to scupper the next match as well and it was touch and go but in the morning with no rain forecast people wanted to fish the river, it was up and coloured and with lots of small fish topping I expected it to fish well but it was hard going. Fieldy won from 125 with 9lb 10oz, Ben S was second with 8lb 7oz and Steve P took third spot with 3lb 10oz. After a disastrous start with just a tiny roach after two and half hours, I fished shallow and caught quite well to win the section with 2lb 15oz.

Highlights – Fishing some new venues
Lowlights – Just generally not getting it right!

November 2019

We were at Dillington again after more heavy rain and I was determined to fish for roach but didn’t catch much of anything, I had a decent skimmer, a chublet plus a pound of bits for 3lb 8oz and nowhere. Paul Adams won with a nice bream and a couple of skimmers for 7lb 11oz.

For the return Ilminster v Stoke fixture we were hoping to get on the river but rain scuppered us once again so we were back at Dillington. The pond has fished really well with Dave Pope taking top spot with a nice net of skimmers and a chub for 15lb 7oz from peg 22, James White was second with with a nice bream, two skimmers and some roach for 12lb 4oz and I was third with 10lb 10oz of mainly skimmers on the feeder from peg 10. Stoke beat us on the day 38lb 10oz to our 26lb 12oz.

We got on the Isle for the next one and I ended up on peg H7, it looked nice but I knew after ten biteless minutes, I was going to struggle, my six roach and a tiny chublet gave me 4oz and not much to write about! Steve Maynard won with a fantastic 26lb 12oz of roach, dace and chublets from 126 and Dan Baldwin had a brilliant 23lb of mainly roach on the stick float and caster from 128.

Last match of the month saw us back on the pond for found four of the Warehouse League, I drew peg 8 and it was a bit of a struggle. I had a skimmer on the feeder and a chub on the pole along with a handful of roach but then with the match drawing to a close I had two skimmers in five minutes to boost my weight to 7lb 10oz which was enough for second place behind Scott Russell with 13lb 8oz from peg 2.

It was a case of the late, late show as two skimmers in the last five minutes boosted my weight to 7lb 10oz

Highlights – Doing a bit of feeder flinging
Lowlights – Rain, rain and more rain!

December 2019

The first match was round three of the V.E.S. Precision league and I was on H4 at Hambridge and had bites all day but no quality apart from a nice 1.5lb perch to weigh 8lb 7oz but needed another 6oz to frame. Fieldy won from 126 with 16lb 10oz of mainly roach.

For the next Warehouse match we headed to Midelney and Muchelney and I drew the latter, two pegs below the bridge and it was solid! I’ve had a bite a chuck all day to finish with 263 fish (mainly roach) for 31lb 1oz, first on the day and my best ever river match weight. Both stretches fished brilliantly, Andy Saunders was second with over 22lb from Midelney and Terry ‘The Toast’ had 20lb for third from above the bridge at Muchelney.

31lb 1oz, what a day!

The following weekend I had a double header of Xmas matches starting with Todber Manor where I drew peg 64 on Ash so my first time on that lake and it proved to be the wrong end and I’ve limped home with just 10lb 6oz which was very near the bottom and I won a Chocolate Orange.

The next day it was Ilminster’s Chris Patten Xmas Fayre and with the river in flood we were split between Dillington and Hebditch’s ponds and the winner was only ever going to come from the latter, Hurf drew me an absolute bunghole in the shape of H4, which is in the infamous reeds, a peg I’ve never drawn before. I’ve caught odd fish throughout the day on corn, feeding very lightly and swapping lines regularly to finish with nine carp and two chub which went 31lb 4oz and was the top weight on the day. Scotty Russell had the top weight at Dillington with 3lb 2oz of roach.

I had nine carp and two chub for 31lb 4oz

Chris’s great friend, Baz Morgan presented me with the trophy

I picked up £100 and became the first angler to win the Chris Patten Memorial Trophy for the second time, well chuffed! We all enjoyed a nice buffet back at Ilminster Bowling Club and all the anglers took home a prize.

Then for the last match before Xmas it would have been nice to got back on the river but loads of rain and floods everywhere meant we decided to try the canal, it looked really nice with lots of fish topping and I had a very enjoyable day catching 42 fish (perch, roach and a couple of little skimmers) for 3lb 11oz, first place and a nice pick up of £50.

With Xmas out of the way and a weeks holiday, I booked into three matches on consecutive days but struggled everyday to finish the year with a whimper. First up was a Chard match at Perry St and I was happy with peg 3, I caught three carp early and a couple of roach but that was it, Picky won on 20 with 51lb, luckily nobody else caught silvers and my 3oz was enough to take the silvers pool of £40. Then it was down to Todber and I drew peg 61 on Hill View and asking around it wasn’t a great peg, I didn’t have a bite for an hour and a quarter then caught a few carp and silvers to weigh 22lb 12oz which was nowhere.

The last match of the year was an open on the River Parrett and it was very high and raging through, I managed 16 fish for a kilo on a bodged up pole feeder rig which wasn’t any good and if I’m honest I was (literally) out of my depth. Andy Power showed his class to win with 3kg 250g of quality roach on a 8 gram flat float with a 8 metre whip.

Highlights – 31lb of roach and winning the Xmas Fayre
Lowlights – Struggling at Todber and on the Parrett


Looking back at 2019, it’s been my best year on so many levels, I won some really nice matches including the Open at Dillington, top individual in the Ilminster v Stoke match, a match on the Parrett with over 31lb of roach and became the first angler to win the Chris Patten Memorial Trophy for the second time with 31lb 4oz of carp and chub at Harry’s pond. Another highlight was finishing second in the silvers at Todber Manor with 51lb 8oz of skimmers, tench and roach.

I finished second in the Ilminster Warehouse League again, losing out to Fieldy by a single point in the last match (ouch!) and had another disappointing V.E.S. Precision League. I managed to get in on the Perry St League and finished fifth but should have done a lot better with some of the pegs I had, Bushy and the Tart dominated once again. It was my most successful year in terms of match winnings with £1874 eclipsing my previous best of £1530 which had stood for a very long time.

Once again I didn’t manage any more trips after barbel or mullet, I still haven’t caught that flounder and there was no Thailand trip, I would love to say I’ll go in 2020 as there are a couple more venues I’d love to try but I’m not sure it’s going to be feasible. One thing I did want to do was try some new venues here along with revisiting some I haven’t been to for years and joining Stoke club certainly helped with that.

New Venues

River Parrett (Parrett Works)
Lake View, Crediton
Luccombes Fishery, Exeter
Dinnington Pond


River Parrett (Muchelney)
River Parrett (Langport)
Hogsbrook Lakes, Exeter
Goodiford Mill
Sedges (Canal Lake)
Trinity Waters, Bridgwater
Whitepost Lakes (Todber)

I really enjoyed doing something a bit different and something else I did more of last year was fish the feeder and loved that as well, the first time I dusted the rods off was for the Bob Hammond Memorial at Dillington and I finished second with 12lb odd behind Andy Saunders, I will be trying to get my name on that trophy again this year. I also qualified for the silvers final at Summerhayes for the third year running but struggled on the day so will have another go this year.

The new look ‘Against Men and Fish’ continues to be well received and I’ve had loads of amazing feedback and comments, the blog sailed past 2,000,000 hits and currently stands at a mind blowing  2,752,483! Buff and Peejay Tackle, have both supported the blog again this year and it’s also fantastic to have Somerset Angling on board as well.

I still count myself as very lucky to have the continued support of Bait-Tech, there are very exciting times ahead and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2020. As always special thanks to Hayley for all her continued help and invaluable advice.

I’ve got lots planned for the coming year plus I will be continuing with the Archives series which has been very popular and there will be more reviews and interviews. Suggestions and feedback are always welcome and I’d love to feature more guest posts so get in touch if you would like to get involved.

So here are the stats (with how they compare to last year in brackets),

Matches won – 9 (+3)
Silvers wins – 5 (+2)
Winnings – £1874 (+£412)
Golden peg wins – 0 (-1)

Matches fished – 64
Number of pick ups – 39 (+10)
Success rate – 61%

New pb match weight
River Parrett – 31lb 1oz



Posted by Jamie Rich

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