Friday, 31 December 2010

Did You Know? - Number Three

Did You Know -That the ATSWWL results were originally decided on by weight. It wasn’t until 1970 that it was changed to a points system. However, the change caused a right ruckus at the AGM where a number of the organising committee resigned. The following press article dated 28 May 1970 explains in more detail.

Did You Know? - Number Two

Did you know - That the 1970 Bristol Commercial House had 16 teams of 6 anglers adding up to 96 competitors. All the matches were back then fished on the Bristol Avon. The press cutting below from 24/02/1970 shows the final league position for that season.

Did You Know? - Number One

Did you know - That the 1968 Angling Times South West Winter League (ATSWWL) had 18 teams of 12 anglers totalling 216 competitors. All the matches were fished on the Bristol Avon. This was the biggest league in the history of the Angling Times Winter League. The South West maintained this for many years. The teams often comprised of anglers from all over the country with such anglers as Wayne Swinscoe, Ken Giles, Ray Mumford and many other now famous names. The following press cutting from 10/11/1968.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Review of 2010

Frustratingly nature decided to put an early "lid" on the fishing for 2010 with fisheries closing down due to ice which was up to 5 inches thick. I had planned to fish the Hillview Christmas match on the 19/12/10. However, it was impossible due to snow falls and the ice. I was amazed that even though the match has been postponed a few lunatics still fished a match – have a look at the result – not bad considering the conditions!

Looking at the long distance weather forecast it doesn’t look too promising until late January 2011. I worry about the fish stocks during these bad spells of weather, particularly the fully stocked shallow commercial fisheries, where there must be a sever reduction of oxygen. Then again Mother Nature does tend to be the balancing scales. Let’s hope the last three years have been exceptional weather rather than the norm, but can’t help worrying that it’s the effects of Global warming.

I have prepared this year’s match summary and compared it with 2009. Overall it’s been a similar year to that of 2009 in many respects - consistency. It may appear that match attendances have fallen, but I have put this down to not fishing the Viaduct winter this year which attracts a hundred anglers over five matches. It was good to see the attendance of the Coffin Dodgers matches increase with the likes of Mike Jones, Chris Rolfe, John Smith and Mike Chapman returning to match fishing. This year saw Colin Golding retire from running the matches with Mike Jones taking over. Thanks Colin for all you’ve done, one thing for sure “You did it your way”.

It is good news that the average weight per match has increased by 20%. There are a few reasons for this, but hope most of it is due to the improvement of fisheries and me gaining experience.

No DNW’s this year but similarly to 2009 one blank. It’s amazing that both these blanks came from the same peg (Campbell 110) under similar conditions, both Silvers only matches.

It was pleasing to have increased my strike rate by 1%.

Total Number of Matches Fished
Total Number of Anglers fished the Matches
Average Number of Anglers per Match
Number of Different Fisheries Fished
Total Carp Weight
3,246lb 2oz
2,470lb 15oz
Total Silvers Weight
1,506lb 7oz
1,1601lb 3oz
Overall Weight
4,752lb 9oz
3,632lb 2oz
Highest Overall Weight
201lb 10oz
210lb 14oz
Highest Silvers Weight
44lb 10oz
44lb 7oz
Heaviest Carp
18lb 10oz
18lb 14oz
Average Weight per Match
43lb 9oz
36lb 11oz
Number of Times in top 6 Overall
Number of Times in top 3 Silvers
Number of Times won Both
Number of Pick-ups
Strike Rate

There were many memorable days fishing, in fact they all were. However, my most memorable match was catching 44lb of prime Ronnie’s at Plantation fishery (catch pictured right) which I was told was a lake Silvers record. On the same day Martin Rayett broke the Lake overall record.

My favourite photograph of 2010 is the one lower right.

My favourite video is at the bottom right where Colin Golding is explaining the pools payout (worth another look me thinks). This man is a true legend since the day he first went fishing with his Dad George to the present day he has never once wavered in his enthusiasm for angling. I think I am safe in saying that Colin over the years has fished more matches than anyone one else in the world.  

2011 is going to be financially difficult for many (except for the Bankers who were the cause this recession through their greed), what Anglers must ensure is that they support their local tackle shops. In addition to providing the usual tackle and bait they provide very important services to us – information, advice, etc…and in some cases match organisation – all priceless. I was amazed to hear recently that Bennett’s of Sheffield had ceased trading;
Bennett’s had the back page of the Angling Times for as long as I can remember. My advice to tackle dealers is don’t put too much emphasis on the internet. It cannot provide the complete service so focus on those aspects the internet can’t provide, of which there are many.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Sunday 06/08/1978 - King William IV Open - Crane And Swineford

In the summer of 1978 after a lay off from match fishing due to work and family commitments I decided to fish two matches on the River Avon. The decision was based on the fact that the NFA First Division National was to be fish on it and would draw plenty of anglers from far and wide. The first match was to be fished on my beloved Crane and Swineford. The second was Staverton, two totally different venues and miles a part. These waters and all those between were required as there were 79 teams of 12 anglers competing – 948 in total.

Because of work I had no time to practice so I went for an analytical approach. I purchased both the Angling Times and Anglers Mail on the Thursday before the match and analysed the winning baits from every single river match fished the previous weekend. The conclusion was that hemp and tares were responsible for most coin. So my plan was to start on hemp and tares on the crow quill, switching to bread or maggot over brown bread ground bait if this didn’t work – no caster.

Off to the draw being held in the Crane car park armed with my one float rod and wicker basket which contained all I needed for the day including the nets strapped to the top. Arriving at the draw it was who’s who of angling and the first time I had met the great Ivan Marks. There were 120 anglers fishing – a sell out – in addition there were plenty of walkers in support of their fishing team mates. In no particular order I drew and pulled out peg 78 (before permanent pegging). This put me approximately in the middle of the venue. On arriving at my peg I was pleased to find I was in a good area for Dace and Roach with plenty of depth – a swim I had fished a few times before. For company two swims up stream I had Ray Simms, everyone else around me were strangers.

I was soon tackled up with a 9BB bulked crow quill with 3lb maxima main line and 1 ½ maxima hook length to a number 16 Mustad Gold Crystal bend barbed hook Back then I tended to cook the H&T’s together and feed both. So after a few cast in to mid river with the tare hook bait and feeding regularly over the top with the catty I started to get the usual quick bites which were often small frustrating Dace. However, my experience with this bait was that it usually took an hour or so for the Roach to turn up in any numbers. It took a little longer than that to get my first decent fish a 2lb Bream, which was a total surprised. That said I had been catching Bream and Hybrids on tares on previous pleasure sessions. I then had to make a decision whether to change to GB and bread or stay with the tare. So I slipped on double bronze maggot and had another Bream. So the decision was made to stay with feeding H&T’s alternating between tare and maggot hook baits. After I had landed five Bream, Ray Simms came down and was amazed by the way I was catching. Ray went off to try the same – without success. After seven Bream (don’t believe everything you read in the angling press – see cutting right - double click on cutting to magnify) the swim died a bit so I slipped on a piece of bread and caught an 8oz Roach!! I weighed in 22lb 1oz for first overall, trebling the next angler’s weight.

On the long walk back I found Ivan Marks with his usual gallery trying to catch fish on Blood Worm. Arriving back at the draw I was welcomed by Topper Haskins who informed me that I had won the match and said something like “bloody turns up once in a blue moon and wins the coin”.

Where was peg 78? Well a few years later the Farmer put up a temporary barbed wire fence which terminated on a bank side tree to the right of the swim. Topper Haskins named the swim the “New Fence”. The fence has since been removed. However, the last time a walked by the swim (and I did that a lot after this match - never to draw it again) there was still the tell-tell signs of the remainder of some barbed wire stapled to the tree.

Full Result:

1. Mike Nicholls 22-01-0 peg 78
2. Dave Brown 7-03-0
3. Geoff Salisbury 6-12-0
4. Ken Clissett 6-09-0
5. Alan Coley 5-15-05
6. Martin Leonard 5-13-0

The national was won by Dave Harris fishing for Bradford City with a massive 48lb 13oz. The team event was won by Coleshill and District with 790 points.