Summerhayes – Memorial Match – 11th November 2023

We were at Summerhayes on Saturday for a memorial match to remember Charlie Barnes, Clive Cunningham and Ray Wickham. Jeff welcomed the 22 anglers and said the payout would be for the overall winner and then four sections. I haven’t been for a while but apparently the pegs towards the top end of the track (the mid thirties) have been winning the silvers in recent matches. When I was called up, I pulled out peg 10 which I was pretty happy with as it’s usually a good area.

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Bill ‘The Paste’ had one his homemade special floats but I’m not sure how many BB shot were required to dot it down!

For company I had young McKenzie on peg 8 on my right and Craig L was on my left so no chance of a nice quiet relaxing day then! The lake was flat calm and while we were getting ready, the only fish I’d seen top were carp which was a tad worrying and I thought it could be rock hard today.

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I set up my usual Guru 0.3 gram AR’s and 0.2 gram Bobbies with size 16 Guru F1 Pellet hooks to 0.10mm for lines at top two, 10 metres and across to the island. The side tray for today contained plenty of maggots, disco pinkies and some Bait-Tech Special G F1 Dark.

On the whistle I fed all my lines before starting on the top kit line to my left, a couple of little knocks was encouraging but then a positive bite resulted in carp number one giving me the runaround before I netted a 3lb mirror. That was enough of that so the 10 metre lines were next, it took a while to get a bite on single pinkie and a little roach got me off the mark. Toby B over on peg 4 got off to a much better start with a nice skimmer and some smaller fish.

My next bite resulted in carp number two tearing off and when two more followed I was beginning to get a feel of how today was going to go! Trying the left hand 10 metre line I hooked another carp and was going to give that up as a bad job but decided to have one more go. A few minutes later, the float has gone under again and when loads of elastic came out on the strike, I thought I was into another carp. As I shipped back, it wasn’t going crazy and I could see it was a decent skimmer of around a pound and hopefully I’d get a few more.

Several more carp had me thinking it was a false dawn and from what I could see, it was the same for most although crucially, Toby was landing the odd skimmer in amongst the carp and Adie over on 33 looked to be netting silvers fairly regularly. I did manage a second skimmer about the same size as the first but then disaster struck when I hooked into yet another carp and it took off at speed, snapping my elastic in the process!

With only two hours of the match gone, that forced me into going across to the island earlier than I would have liked. A 4oz chublet first chuck was very welcome but then it was back to hooking carp and I was landing most of them. After an hour of not putting very much in the net, I plumbed up again at 10 metres but it was a similar story, a nice roach followed by more carp.

As the light started to go in the last hour, I began getting a few more roach but there was no size to them and I knew I needed to catch some decent skimmers to stand any chance of a result so decided to spend the remaining time across. My match continued to fizzle out and two carp in as many chucks had me all but reaching for the white flag and then as I was playing the second one and stripping elastic out using the pulla kit, it snapped and that sealed the deal! With no top kits left that had any rigs or elastic, I wasn’t going to set up again and risk losing a third lot of kit, so packed up early for the first time in a long while.

I loaded the car and went to give Adie a hand weighing in, it had fished really hard and the early leader was Adie with 7lb on peg 33, then Roy Hughes on 30 had done brilliantly to weigh 12lb 13oz and I couldn’t see that being beaten. The ever consistent Alex Kerr was top in the next section with 6lb 12oz from peg 27.

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Adie won his section with 7lb

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Roy won yet again, this time with an excellent 12lb 13oz from peg 30

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Alex was top in his section with 6lb 12oz

Then from peg 19 round to 12, Zooner only needed 3lb 2oz to win the section (and take a nugget off me) from the heli landing pad (peg 15). I weighed 2lb 12oz and then Toby had 8lb to win our section as the other three pegs had chucked back.

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Toby comfortably won my section with 8lb of skimmers and roach

1 – Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) – 12lb 13oz

A – Toby Burrell (Team Army) – 8lb
B – Jess Jordan (Summerhayes) – 3lb 2oz
C – Alex Kerr (Summerhayes) – 6lb 12oz
D – Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) – 7lb

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From left to right, winner Roy Hughes and section winners Adie Bishop, Toby Burrell and Jess Jordan (not pictured Alex Kerr)

A massive thanks to Jeff Sparkes for organising the match and Pete and Sally for hosting us.

Nick and me put £2 each into the pot for the charity which has now reached £419. A really disappointing day for me and I must admit I didn’t enjoy the fishing very much but it’s still one of the matches I really look forward to every year.

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 – Summerhayes

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

Check Out – My last match

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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