Summerhayes – Open – 7th April 2024

Before I get on to Sunday’s report, the previous evening it was Stoke AA’s presentation night at the working mens club. It was well attended and before the trophies were handed out, the clubs very own magician, Bob Pamplin, entertained us with a selection of tricks. After being suitably amazed and mystified, the second half of the double act and our host for the evening, Norts, then got the proceedings underway.

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Bob and Norts

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Nick Payne had quite a haul, winning the Memorial Shield, J Irish Trophy, Axminster Cup and the Presidents Trophy

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Terry Morgan won the Club Championship, Rose Bowl and Committee Cup

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I added my name to the Evening Cup and Aggregate Shield for the second year running and was also the inaugural winner of the Silvers Bowl

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Rob Cox was presented with the Huntsman Cup and Dave’s Cup

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Jenny Payne and Graham Field (not pictured) won the River Pairs Shield

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Derek Goad was the winner of the Novice Shield

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Chris Haines and Nick Veale (not pictured) were the Lakes Pairs Trophy winners

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Chris Norton won the Goodman’s Golden Oldies

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Nick Payne (left) and Cliff Gaylard (right) jointly won the Presidents Trophy

Other trophy winners who didn’t attend were;

Carp Shield – Dan Squire
A Gardner Match Specimen Shield – Andy Downton
Simm’s Silvers – David Nash
Mrs Williams Cup – Ian Burton
Chairman’s Tankard – Russell Hilton
Interclub Shield – Ilminster AA

The club would like to say a massive thanks to Stoke Sub Hamdon Working Men’s Club for looking after us, Bob Pamplin for the entertainment, Chris Norton and Chris White for hosting and presenting, Derek Goad for sorting the food out and of course all the anglers for their continued support of the club.

So after a really nice evening I was up bright and early before meeting the others for breakfast and then heading to Bridgwater. It was on Sellicks which is my favourite lake but with strong winds forecast (just for a change!) and 22 anglers fishing, it could be quite hard going today.

Pete got the draw underway and then had to start again when peg 29 came out of the bucket and there are only 25 pegs on Sellicks! With the wind howling down the lake, I fancied the sheltered swims at the top end but I pulled out number 6, which meant I’d be battling to control the pole all day. To make matters worse I had Craig next door although hopefully the wind noise would drown out most of his unintelligible babbling!

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I set up rigs to fish two lines at 11.5 metres and also plumbed up across to the island although I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fish it for very long. On the whistle I fed all my lines before starting with single maggot over groundbait. A bite quite quickly resulted in a tiny carp which I chucked back and it took a further half an hour before the float went under again and this time it was the intended species, a decent skimmer.

I had another and a little tench over the next thirty minutes so a steady start, the second hour began brightly with two cracking roach and another skimmer but bites slowed right up and with 2.5 hrs gone, I hadn’t added to my six fish tally. Zooner up on 11 was catching some nice skimmers and apparently Alex on 13 was bagging per usual so I decided to have my first look across.

The wind was a bit of a nightmare but I was able to hold the pole fairly still at times and when I could I was getting bites, my first fish was a nice roach followed by a 4oz chublet. I was getting odd decent skimmers (and pulled out of a couple) along with the inevitable carp but it was frustrating because I’m sure there were a lot of fish there if only I could control the pole! Dan Pither on my right set up a method and was getting a few fish and Steve ‘Whicker’s World’ Collins down on peg 1 was catching well.

Glynn who was over on 21 came for a walk and said the wind was even worse over there and they couldn’t even hold a short pole, while he was behind me, I hooked a decent skimmer but it came off as I was shipping back. Constantly battling with the wind was really hard work (and they say fishing’s relaxing!) so I tried dropping back on the groundbait lines but never had another fish from there.

For the remainder of the match I fished across and had a couple more big skimmers but also hooked one fish that I thought was a carp but it wasn’t going crazy. Shipping back it all went solid although I could still feel the fish on and it would move from left to right and back again but I just couldn’t gain any ground on it. I was starting to think it might be a really big eel but all of a sudden something gave and it started coming.

Eventually a carp came up and it looked like it might be hooked in the dorsal fin but something wasn’t right and when it went in the net I could see there was a method feeder (still with a wafter in the bait band) and some line wrapped round the fin which I was attached to and there was a long length of trailing line (tow rope) as well. I untangled the mess and the fish was no worse for wear and I still had time to go back out and catch a big skimmer that was probably 2lb.

On the whistle I only had 15 fish (10 skimmers, 3 roach, a tench and a chublet) but they were a good stamp. The scales started with Steve ‘Phileas Fogg’ Collins who had an excellent 61lb 2oz which would be more than enough to take the win today. Rich S on 3 didn’t weigh, Scott Thomas on 4 had 31lb 6oz, Dan weighed 21lb 7oz and then my silvers went 12lb.

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Steve Collins had the top weight with 61lb 2oz from peg 1

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I had some decent fish for 12lb but once again the wind (and Craig) has done my head in!

Craig on the golden peg had done alright catching 28lb 13oz and although he’d also lost a few, it wouldn’t have been enough for the bumper payday. Nick P had some decent skimmers for 6lb 3oz, Big Bad Bob on his favourite peg 10 weighed 14lb 10oz and then Zooner had a similar number of fish but a slightly smaller stamp for 9lb 14oz. He did have an eel which he’d cunningly trained to bite scousers – top work!

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Craig the eel wrestler

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Or maybe not!

Oscar on 12 weighed 18lb 14oz and then Alex had a lovely mixed bag of silvers for 18lb 6oz, Adie chucked back on 14, Tom R had 16lb 9oz, Roger C weighed 9lb 9oz on 16, Rob B didn’t weigh, Hollywood had 21lb 9oz on 18 and then pegs 19 to 25 had gone!

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Alex had skimmers, crucians, eels and quality roach for 18lb 6oz

1 – Steve Collins (Summerhayes) – 61lb 2oz
2 – Scott Thomas (Summerhayes) – 31lb 6oz
3 – Craig Lyttle (Summerhayes) – 28lb 13oz

1 – Alex Kerr (Summerhayes) – 18lb 6oz
2 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 12lb
3 – Jess Jordan (Summerhayes) – 9lb 14oz

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Winner Steve with third placed Craig ‘Carp Head’ Lyttle

I finished second in the silvers and picked up £35 but this weather is beginning to get me down, will it ever end?

The Nugget-O-Meter had a fantastic weekend, Rob Cox (£3), Andy Burns (£3) and Terry ‘The Toast’ (£1) all donated last night, then today at breakfast the Grand Wiz very kindly added a fiver and Nick put another £2 in the pot. Craig Lyttle gave me £2 and a nugget off Zooner saw the total shoot up to £154.

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

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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