River Parrett – Novice Shield – 9th July 2023

Only the one match for me this weekend as I actually had a night out in Exeter with a mate and even though I don’t drink very much these days, I was hanging a little bit on Saturday. We were going to be at Kingsbury on Sunday and it’s a stretch I really like but it does suffer from weed problems which is why we only fished it once last year. I set my alarm for 6:00 and 6:05 but had no recollection of it going off and was woken by Nick phoning me at 7:30!

Given that breakfast at the bowling club was 7:00, needless to say I was rushing round like a headless chicken, I got there just as some of the others were heading off to the draw. Nick was still there and Hainsey also joined us as he’d forgotten his bait and had to go back and get it so was also running late. I chucked my brekkie down my neck in record time and we actually got to Kingsbury with a couple of minutes to spare – phew!

I’d asked the Grand Wiz to draw for me and I was on peg 4 which is upstream of the bridge, an area I’ve not fished before but it can be good. Nick got 14 and Hainsey was on the downstream end peg (18). You can drive to your pegs and mine was just up from a field gateway and looked really nice with a big tree upstream and a bush on the near bank below me.


The odd fish topped while I was setting up and with a tinge of colour and a modicum of pace, I thought it would fish well today. There were quite a few cabbages visible but dragging the plummet around it seemed to be fairly clear down the middle although by the bush on the inside, which was the deepest part of the swim, I kept getting snagged up.

On the whistle I started down the middle with single maggot and was expecting to catch quite quickly but no bites, not even from a minnow! I’ve added a section but still nothing so went further across and finally the float sailed away and I opened my account with a nice roach of 3-4oz. Next put in I had little dace followed by a chunky chublet and was hopeful I’d have a decent little spell but then the bites just stopped!

Trying as far left as the bush would allow, the float went straight under and I had another small roach, then a gudgeon before the next bite saw a bit more number 5 Dura Slip elastic come out and I netted a nice roach around 5-6oz. Once again it was short lived though and I also snagged up a couple of times and lost a hooklength as two things became obvious, firstly, it already felt like I’d have to chase the fish around and secondly, there were more cabbages than I’d originally thought.

I tried running the lighter rig through a foot off the deck but never had a bite on it, inching the depth rig down the swim was a non starter as I was getting snagged nearly every time so I buried the hook in a caster but that wasn’t the answer either. There were several bank walkers during the day and one came back from the pegs upstream and reported that Derek G on peg 1 was bagging and had caught 6lb of chub and roach in the first hour! Now I tend to take things like that with a pinch of salt but he was obviously getting a few and there’s nothing I can do about that, it just disheartens you a little bit and I’d rather not know.

Apparently the Grand Wiz and Priv on peg 3 were catching odd fish as well but the news from the pegs below me was that they were struggling, Neil P on 5 had been up a few times and he’d only caught a couple of fish and said it was the same for Bob N on 6 and Terry ‘The Toast’ on 7. I managed a couple of fish down the middle by just holding the float back as any movement resulted in me getting snagged up and just to add to the fun there was a wicked wind blowing straight at me.

There were still quite a few bank walkers and along with lots of people exercising their dogs, it was more like Piccadilly Circus than a little river in the middle of nowhere in deepest, darkest Somerset! At one stage I had three people behind me chatting away and then a women turned up with two pug dogs who proceeded to bark at everyone and then she asked me if I had any water, initially I thought she meant for her dogs to drink but oh no, one of them had peed all over my rod bag! I just said to not worry about it and went back to snagging up and catching not much, very relaxing this fishing malarkey!

With about half an hour to go, I’d struggled up to 20 fish for 1lb 8oz or so, bizarrely I’d only had a few minnows and they’re normally prolific here. A positive bite resulted in what felt like a better fish and I thought this might be a much needed late bonus, it came to the surface and I saw a flash of red fin which suggested a big roach but then I could see it was indeed a roach but a much more modest 4oz fish hooked in the tail!

Next chuck I had a fat gudgeon and then Neil wandered up again to say he’d chucked back and was heading off, while he was with me I had another roach (fairly hooked this time) which made me think it might be the time of day and a good finish could be on the cards but that was the last fish of the day.

After packing up, me and Bob walked up to start the weigh in, Derek was first and had some nice chublets and roach for 3lb 11oz, a good weight which would be there or thereabouts today but it also just goes to prove it’s not always worth paying too much attention to the bankside jungle drums! The Grand Wiz weighed 2lb 14oz and then Priv had 1lb 9oz, my fish went 2lb 6oz, Neil had gone, Bob weighed 13oz and the last peg in our section was Terry who had 1lb 15oz.


Derek weighed 3lb 11oz of chublets and roach on peg 1


The Grand Wiz on peg 2 had 2lb 14oz


Priv had 1lb 9oz


I had 2lb 6oz of roach, chublets, dace and gudgeon


Terry ‘The Toast’ weighed 1lb 15oz on peg 7

Below the bridge, Hainsey had the top weight with 3lb 9oz, Dave H weighed 3lb 1oz on peg 17, John D (peg 15) had 2lb 14oz, Cliffy on peg 8 weighed 2lb 4oz which included the best roach so far of 11oz, Dave N (peg 11) had 2lb 3oz, Ian B weighed 1lb 6oz on peg 10, Dave Phillips and Nick both had 12oz and Dave P weighed 4oz on peg 12.


Norts didn’t fish but came down for a wander and brought his ‘gentlemen’s rest’ with him!

1 – Derek Goad (Stoke) – 3lb 11oz
2 – Chris Haines (Haines Angling) – 3lb 9oz
3 – Dave Hilton (Stoke) – 3lb 1oz
4 – John Dursley (Enterprise Angling) – 2lb 14oz
4 – Chris White (Stoke) – 2lb 14oz

A – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 2lb 6oz
B – Cliff Gaylard (Stoke) – 2lb 4oz



So another really close match with just ounces in it and although on the face of it the fishing looks really tough, almost torturous, I love it and if you manage to reach that 3lb target, it’s very satisfying. I picked up £15 for the default section win and the Nugget-O-Meter rose another fiver thanks to £3 from the Grand Wiz and pounds from Nick and me, the total is now £305.

There’s still a great offer running if you fancy treating yourself to some new fishing gear, use the exclusive discount code AgainstMenandFish10 to get 10% off when you shop online at Somerset Angling

Also I still have copies of my book available from eBay here or Amazon here


And if you could spare five minutes to leave a nice review on Amazon, it would be very much appreciated.

Next up – Acorn Fishery

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

Check Out – My last match

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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