River Parrett – Evening Cup – 22nd June 2024

I always look forward to the matches on the Parrett, the fishing can be really challenging with 3lb a good weight but if you can achieve that, it’s very satisfying. The first fixture on the river is always the Evening Cup and although people tend to have an idea of which pegs they’d like, nobody really knows how it will fish.

With the draw not until 14:00, Nick and me had lunch at the bowling club which was really nice (thanks Charlotte) before we headed to Parrett Works for the draw. We were a bit early so had a walk down the first few pegs, the river looked lovely although it was low and we didn’t see any fish topping which was slightly concerning. I have to say a massive thanks to Bob, Dave P and all the club members who had been down clearing and strimming the swims and the track to make things ready for today, awesome job and it’s massively appreciated.

There was a good turnout of 16 anglers all hoping to draw a good peg, on my wish list were 8, 16, 25, 28, 29, 31 and 32. I stuck my hand in the bag of dreams/despair (delete as appropriate) and when I looked at my milk bottle top I was well happy to see the number 16 on it. A great peg that I won this match from two years ago with 12lb of chub.

When I got there, although it still looked really nice, the branches that used to extend halfway across the river had gone and you can’t get tight to the far bank now. I set up a 1 gram bodied float to fish down the middle and a 0.5 gram DH16 for fishing across to the cover. The side tray was nice and simple with maggots, casters and Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp (along with some worms in reserve).

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On the whistle I cupped in some hemp and casters down the middle before starting on the heavier rig with single red maggot on the hook. It took around ten minutes before I had an indication (which I missed) from down the peg. Next put in the float buried right over the feed and a little roach opened my account. The next bite resulted in a pleasing amount of elastic on show and a nice roach or dace flashed in the clear water but it came off which wasn’t ideal!

The minnows arrived so I tried double maggot and had a nice 6oz roach, single caster tempted another but once again those pesky minnows began to be a pain. Double caster helped and I had a lovely dace and then further down the peg, the float sunk from view and the strike was met with solid resistance. Elastic streamed from the pole tip and I quickly swung the pole parallel with the near bank and shipped back to the top kit. Stripping the elastic I could see it was a nice 1lb+ chub and it was well behaved and soon in the net. I made sure it went safely in the keepnet (see previous post!) and was up to 2lb with only 40 mins of the match gone so a great start.

It slowed up a bit and over the next half an hour or so, I only added a gudgeon and a few minnows. The lovely Chanter turned up for a walk and looked quizzically at the river as I’m not sure he’s ever seen moving water before! He reported nobody was catching much with Hainsey on peg 8, probably leading the way with a load of minnows plus some roach and dace. We had a nice natter before he headed off downstream to see how the others were doing.

I’d been feeding casters and hemp across (to the cover you can see in the centre of the photo above) and with around 2.5 hours gone, I had my first look with the hook buried in a caster. I was expecting a quick response but it didn’t really happen, eventually the float slid under and although not the chub I was hoping for, a nice 4-5oz dace was very welcome.

Chanter reappeared after his wander and said the bottom section was fishing rock hard with several people only admitting to a few minnows. He headed off home and I don’t think anything he’d seen would inspire him to get on the rivers anytime soon! No more bites across so it was back down the middle with a 4oz roach from the top of the peg quite quickly. Then down the swim, I’ve hooked a better fish which initially had me thinking chub but it was soon obvious it was an eel and another 4oz was added to the net to put me on nearly 3lb and I’d hit my target with the best part of two hours still to go.

Adding a section and going further across resulted in a couple more decent roach although I did pull out of one as well. I still thought I’d hook another chub or two and it did cross my mind to feed some chopped worm and caster and sit over it with a big dendra hoping for another chub or eel but if it was fishing as hard as it sounded, I’d kick myself if it was won with a low-ish weight and I spent the last two hours biteless!

With an hour remaining I had another look across and caught a nice roach and then a few minutes later I hooked what felt like a better fish but my black hydro was more than man enough for an 8oz chublet! No more bites and it certainly seemed to be the case that resting the lines would result in a fish or two. Back down the middle I had a gudgeon and a little 2oz chublet to keep the catch rate ticking over.

As the light began to fade in the last thirty minutes, you’d think a few more fish would show but much like the last two times I’ve fished this match, if anything it’s been the quietest period and so it proved again and I never had another bite. My clicker was reading 21 fish (roach, dace, chub, gudgeon and eel) plus some minnows for around 4lb which is normally a decent weight in these matches.

I had the scales so walked up to start the weigh in with Bob N on peg 4 who had 1lb 9oz, Cliffy was next and weighed 15oz, then it was Hainsey on 8 who was admitting to a rather precise 4lb 6oz but actually weighed an excellent 6lb which included loads of minnows, some quality roach and dace plus an eel.

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Bob N had 1lb 9oz on peg 4

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Cliffy G weighed 15oz

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Hainsey had a brilliant 6lb which included loads of minnows and some quality roach and dace

The Grand Wiz on 10 had 9oz but he also had three non counting trout (on a Fluffy Dog Knobbler I believe!), Danny B weighed 12oz and then Dave P had 1lb 5oz which included two eels. I was next and my fish went 5lb 8oz with the chub weighing 1lb 6oz, Terry ‘The Toast’ on 17 had loads of small fish for 2lb 6oz.

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The Grand Wiz weighed 9oz on beat 10

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Danny B on peg 11 had 12oz

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Dave P had 1lb 5oz which included two eels

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I had a really enjoyable match to weigh 5lb 8oz of chub, roach, dace, gudgeon, minnows and an eel

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Terry ‘The Toast’ had lots of fish for 2lb 6oz on peg 17

The other section had fished incredibly hard with Fieldy on 28 the only angler to break a pound with 3lb 8oz which included some quality roach caught late on. Mike G only needed 15oz for second in the section with Dennis H on 25 in third with 14oz.

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Section A
1 – Chris Haines (Haines Angling) – 6lb
2 – Jamie Rich (Bait-Tech/Colmic) – 5lb 8oz
3 – Terry Morgan (Stoke) – 2lb 6oz
4 – Bob Newbury (Stoke) – 1lb 9oz

Section B
1 – Graham Field (Taunton) – 3lb 8oz
2 – Mike Goad (Stoke) – 15oz
3 – Dennis Hawkins (Stoke) – 14oz
4 – Wayne Cooper (Stoke) – 13oz
4 – Ian Brister (Stoke) – 13oz

The payout was the top four in each section and I picked up £25 for second, I loved every minute of that and felt I fished a tidy match although I did pull out of two fish but then Hainsey lost a chub as well. I was left wondering if I’d fed worm and stuck it out for a chub or eel in the last half an hour, if I’d have caught the extra bonus I needed!

On a separate note, I’ve been using Stotz or Cubes for years as I just haven’t been able to find any shot (and I’ve tried lots of different types) that I can get on with. It’s either been too hard or the slot not centrally cut and I’m fed up with that rattle whenever I do the hoovering after shot pinging off all over the place when I’m making rigs.

Rich Chave showed me the Colmic shot and I was very impressed, using shot pliers, you can slide them up the line without having the majority fly off and they stay put – great product. I’ve also been hearing good things about the Teck Stream line and will put a little post together when I’ve tried some.

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Another £2 each from me and Nick P was added to the Nugget-O-Meter which has now climbed to £261.

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 – Hebditch’s Pond

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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