River Parrett – Huntsman Cup – 30th June 2024

The following day we were back on the Parrett and as I’ve said numerous times on the blog, even though the fishing can be rock hard and the river can kick you right where it hurts, they’re still some of my favourite matches of the year. The usual pegs were on my wish list along with peg 1 which was in this week.

The draw was announced and I pulled out 17 which I was fairly happy with, more of a steady peg than a flier in my opinion but I should hopefully get a few bites. Last week it was in the top section but this time was in with the pegs in the second field which had fished poorly in the first match. When I got there it looked very fishy with a big bush/tree to the left and another that had fallen across the river upstream.

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Plumbing up the bottom was all over the place but a big fish topped twice to the right which was encouraging (if it was a chub and not a trout!). I set up a 1 gram bodied float to fish down the middle and a 0.5 gram DH16 for fishing to the right by the cover. Today’s side tray contained maggots, casters, worms and Bait-Tech Super Seed hemp.

On the whistle, I cupped in some hemp and caster down the middle where it was deepest and also pinged a few casters upstream. I started with a single maggot on the hook to try and catch a minnow and avoid the blank but this was actually easier said than done. It took a little while before I had a bite and then I missed several before finally getting off the mark with a magnificent specimen and that was enough of that!

Switching to caster I had a 3oz chublet and was getting a few bites, as the first hour came to a close I had three dace, a chublet and some gudgeon for around a pound so a decent start but I knew it wouldn’t last. Going into the second sixty minutes I was still catching a few gobies (along with the inevitable minnows) but no more dace or chublets and the lack of any roach was a tad worrying.

After being overcast with some misty rain, it was turning rather hot and sunny which wouldn’t do us any favours on a low and clear river! With nearly two hours gone, I’d added very little to the net and then Nick Chedzoy, who was down on peg 26, appeared saying he was really struggling and had only caught two eels. I said I thought that would be good on a tough day but he replied that the Grand Wiz on 28 already had 3lb of roach!

With only a pound in the net and knowing GW and Chedz were both beating me, I was just thinking about putting some chopped worm in and having a go for some eels when the float buried and I was into something substantial! With loads of snags in the peg and mindful of the relatively light 0.10mm hooklength, I swung the pole parallel to my bank and shipped back to the top kit but the fish had found sanctuary and it was solid.

My heart was in my mouth as I changed the angle of pressure and there was movement, I stood up and started stripping elastic as the fish headed towards me and went into some crap under my feet, I could see the chub and managed to net it without any further trouble. I have to admit, I had the old shakes as it was a good fish around 1.5lb+ and a huge bonus on a tough day.

Over the next hour or so, I only had a couple more gudgeon along with a steady procession of visitors. Parker ‘The Pole’ from above me on 16 said he’d only caught a few small fish along with a trout on breadpunch, Norts was next who reported he was really struggling and that John D on 14 probably had 1lb+. Finally Nick P came down from peg 9 saying he only had minnows and gudgeon but that somebody had heard from Dave Pope down on 29 who was admitting to 3-4lb.

So even with my bonus chub, I was at best only fourth in my section behind Dave P, GW and Chedz (if he’d caught another eel or two). With around an hour to go, I chopped up some worms and fed it in the deep water via a bait dropper before going straight over it with half a worm. I began getting little knocks and dips on the float but I think it was minnows so I buried the hook in a caster which seemed to discourage them.

Half an hour elapsed with no indications but then the float seemed to sit lower in the water for an age before dipping under and on the strike, there was the characteristic see-sawing of the elastic as a decent eel attempted to go to ground. I netted it safely and it was another nice bonus of probably 12oz, I fed some more worm and upped the hooklength from 0.10 to 0.14mm.

The next quarter of an hour was uneventful and then with only five minutes to go, I had a tentative indication which I missed but the caster wasn’t touched and that was it. I ended up with 16 fish (1 chub, 1 eel, 1 chublet, 3 dace and 10 gudgeon) plus some minnows for probably just over 3lb.

Norts had the scales for our section so I walked down to help him weigh in, Dave P was the end peg and had some lovely roach for 3lb 8oz, the Grand Wiz was next door on 28 and went into the lead with 4lb 1oz which would win it today, Chedz ‘The Snake Charmer’ had done well on 26 with his five eels going 3lb 5oz and I was sure I didn’t quite have that.

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Dave had some quality roach for 3lb 8oz on peg 29

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The Grand Wiz had a nice net of fish for 4lb 1oz

Danny B weighed 10oz on 25, Cliffy next door had 1lb 13oz and then it was me and I was well happy when the digital display read 3lb 11oz to put me in second place. We also weighed the chub separately as this year the President’s Trophy is for the biggest chub and I hoped it was a bit bigger than the one I had last week at 1lb 6oz, this one went 2lb so a really handy bonus on the day. PTP had 5oz (mainly small fish!), John D weighed 1lb 5oz and the last peg in our section was Norts who had 6oz.

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Danny weighed 10oz on peg 25

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Cliffy on 24 had 1lb 13oz

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I had 3lb 11oz which included a bonus chub and an eel

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John D on 14 weighed 1lb 5oz

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Norts had an interesting method of displaying his catch!

Back at the results and Ian Brister won the top section with 2lb 15oz from peg 1 followed by Hainsey with 1lb 11oz from peg 3 and Derek G who had 1lb 5oz for third from peg 8.

Section A
1 – Ian Brister (Stoke) – 2lb 15oz
2 – Chris Haines (Haines Angling) – 1lb 11oz
3 – Derek Goad (Stoke) – 1lb 5oz
4 – Dave Hilton (Stoke) – 1lb

Section B
1 – Chris White (Stoke) – 4lb 1oz
2 – Jamie Rich (Bait-Tech/Colmic) – 3lb 11oz
3 – Dave Pope (Stoke) – 3lb 8oz
4 – Nick Chedzoy (Stoke) – 3lb 5oz

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So the Grand Wiz won the Huntsman Cup and he was chuffed as it’s his first ever river trophy, well done mate, I was second in my section (and the match) and picked up £25.

Nick P and me both added our usual £2 (for yesterday and today) to the Nugget-O-Meter which is now up to £269.

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

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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