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St Ives Fish Preservation and Angling Society

"Established in 1881, we are currently according to the Angling Times, the oldest club in the UK, a friendly society with traditional values"

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Thursday 12th & Friday 13th March, The Spit
 
So, the end of the river season is upon us and a select few had the last couple of days to have a go, on Thursday  DNW, Senior Andrews, Compo and myself made it and the spit fished reasonably well, Compo thrashed the water to a foam as he had liner after liner and managed 5 fish for about 20lb with one very nice 6lb plus Bream in the net. Senior Andrews drew badly and had 1 Bream moved swims to get closer to the action and then missed 3 Tench bites much to his annoyance and our usual support, as in "what the hell are you doing you numpty".
 
DNW weighed and weighed well with 35lb of mostly Tench with 1 Bream and was very pleased and yes I was pleased for him despite him pipping me as I weighed 33lb with a couple of nice Perch one was 2lb and the rest Tench. Interesting that you can feel slightly disappointed with 8 Tench but that is indicative of how good we expect the fishing to be if the big stuff are feeding.
 
On Friday we lost DNW to work and we have been told he now stands on top of his lorry with his cape flowing and hands on hips shouting all sorts of Zorro like things ever since he went horse riding in Spain, I still think the mask and moustache have got to go.
 
Compo got among the liners of the previous day eventually, he recorded 63 movement on his tip rod 25 plus he struck at and none he connected with, good average. After this he started to catch and ended up with a very creditable 48lb great fishing at any time, I managed 38lb  with 9 Tench and 1 smallish Bream( blase I know when a smallish Bream was about 3lb) Senior Andrews spent the morning moaning that he was in prime swim could'nt catch God hated hime etc etc you know the drill, but miracles of miracles someone or thing decided to shine on Senior Sick Note and he managed a more than reasonable 6 Tench and one nice Perch for 25lb plus and ended the season on a happy note.
 
Then on Saturday 3 in 1 fished the big meadow, as he could not get any more time off having had to perform major car surgery the week before and using up his available hols, which he was very happy about,NOT. Long story short, he managed 11 Bream and 2 Chub for another great finish so most of the regulars all completed the river season on a high.
 
There you have it then dear reader, a slight rest will now ensue with much cleaning of gear and buying of new stuff ( Compo is a compulsive new tackle tart). I dare say I will be taking Senior Andrews on in the usual Carp puddle every now and then to get the eye in and win(or lose) a fiver and I do intend to run a Thursday evening series in the Ivo in May to get the juices flowing once the weather, hopefully, warms up.
 
Old school I know but the glorious 16th June still holds a special place in my heart and we will be on the bank for preparation and swim clearing in early June, the next thing is the AGM and this will take place at some point in April. To those that continue to fish the "puddles" best of luck and I hope it warms up to those that don't, see you on the bank in June. 
  
 
Sunday 8th March the spit
Exactly as ordained the spit fished awful, a combination of two frosts since Wednesday plus very bright sunshine, less colour in the water and a very cold wind blowing hard did the job, Senior Andrews managed the win with one Tench for 5lb 6oz, nice fish, and upsetting 3 in 1 who had one Tench for 4lb 12oz but this was on his new feeder rod so he was happy.
 
The only other two players were me and Compo who after the Lord Mayors show on Wednesday had diddily squatt on feeder, in fact he had zero bites and I might have had a liner but not sure certainly no hitable offerings at all.
 
DNW was still pretending to be Zorro, in his case zero, riding horses in some Spanish Hacienda and cutting dashing poses whilst twiddling his false moustache that he bought specially for the trip.
 
So. as we approach the end of the river season, we are having one last hurrah, well two actually, Thursday and Friday before hanging up the rods for a few weeks or at least until it warms up a bit and we can have a go on the commercials. Compo has got things to dig up and then bury again and as he is waging war against Rabbits I expect some serious hardware being flown in.3 in 1 can spend some time mending his car because once he has done that he can fill the tank with petrol and double its value. I am going somewhere warm and I don't mean the library. Senior Andrews can now persue his overall goal of peak fitness I even saw him in the gym last week, mind you he was sitting in a comfy chair reading a paper but its a start. 
 
Sam middle earth Wellens, Bombardier Pankhurst, Mini Myring, Junior Andrews, Moaner McGregor, hang your head in shame Ray and "mums let me out to play" Donaldson will all come back out to have another go as the spring pushes on but the main matches will not recommence until June, so its been a good season in the main with the last few weeks being a bit harsh but thats winter for you. See you on the bank, or the pub depending on the temperature.            
 
A Wednesday bit to end all Wednesday bits
Firstly, Compo had a birthday and is 168 years young and has so many bus passes that the council have offered him a whole bus just for himself. Secondly it was him and me only on Wednesday, senior Andrews was in hospital having his tubes cleansed plus an oil change and MOT, DNW was, and you won't believe this one, in Spain to ride horses for the week. I could never see DNW as a Jockey one because his feet would drag on the grass behind the horse and secondly with his memory, he would forget that he needed a horse.
 
However, back to the fishing and OH what a day of days for Compo, we were going to go in the deeps at Jones but I got to the parking bit early and had a wander round. I thought the spit looked ok, bit of colour and a few bubbles showing, so we changed tack and went down the spit. Compo decided he wanted to feeder fish and I stuck with the pole on the basis that at least I could stare at a motionless float rather than a motionless tip. I sat at the end and Compo went in about peg 3/4 for the feeder.
 
The what happened next is that for the first hour nothing, the second hour Compo landed 3 Tanch and 7 Bream and at an average of 4lb a fish was doing very nicely thank you to such an extent that all I could hear was a repeated "happy birthday to me" for several hours, I even gave him one of my good cigars. I then got a bite,yes dear reader  the float went under and after consulting several fishing manuals as to what this meant I caught a fish Tench, no Bream,no but a nice Perch about 1lb, next cast another Perch about 1.5lbs and then a Bream about 4lbs by lunchtime Compo had over 50lb in his net and I had about 10lb it was like the Alamo and I was not on the winning side, still as he kept saying it was his birthday.       
 
The afternoon however was different, the end swim of the spit does not warm up that quick but when it does the Tench fishing can be great. So to sum up we finished at 4.30 by which time Compo had around 100lb with 12 Tench and 11 Bream, a truly great days fishing  and me
well, the afternoon went well and I ended up with 16 Tench 2 Bream and 3 Perch all over a 1lb for about 80lb plus. SO second on the day with 80plus lbs still whose counting.
 
Days like this make up for the last 8 weeks and yes, we will be on the spit Sunday when I am sure it will revert to poor, but today it was'nt poor and Senior Andrews will be spitting blood that he missed it.
 
Happy birthday Compo. god smiles on the ancient
 
 
 
Sunday 1st March Dolphin Meadow
I have now run out of words regarding the crap fishing we are experiencing, 4 fished Sunday, total bites zero, zilch, none, nought, less than one between us it was so bad we packed up at 11 .30. So in the last two weeks 11 people have fished a total of 40 hours without a single nibble.
 
I managed a mixed bag worthy of mention however, I had 2 bunches of Muscles, one large branch and to top it all one complete kitchen tile which my learned colleague "3 in 1" asked whether I had caught a Skate, bless him he does'nt get out much.
 
So thats it no fun to be had, text from Senior saying and I quote " he was wasted and could not be asked to get up" and I think he got it just about right. Stillwater fishing is starting to sound attractive and it is surely only a matter of time until the intrepid river anglers turn up at Pidley to catch the dreaded Carp just so we can stir distant memories of what a bite looks like.
 
Thats it then, I've had enough, never have I fished so often for so little and as Compo said on Sunday "its time I sold this lot and bought some Golf clubs" but how he intend fishing with them I have no idea    
 
In more hope than anything else Compo and my good self do intend to venture forth this week and Jones deeps now the colour has gone might and I really do mean might offer a chance of a bite. The only trouble now is I won't know what to do if I get one.
 
 
Thursday bit( note for sicknote you fished on Thursday not wednesday)
 
There is something wrong with the river and I firmly believe it all revolves around the recent flood and salt content coming off the gritted roads into the river system. However 4 intrepids had a go Thursday opposite Nobles Field, we had 5 Bream between 3 of us with Senior Andrews deciding he did not want to join in despite best peg status. Senior was very astute in his observation that it did not matter which end of the match length he was at because the fish will always be at the end he is not at. Compo had  2 Bream I had 1 and DNW was delighted to catch one Bream and a big skimmer for, as he put it, second place ( just a shame it was'nt a match but still who's counting) Senior Andrews spent several hours teaching several maggots and the odd worm to swim and as they were in absolutely no danger of getting chomped on by a fish.
 
Highlights of the day, DNW not owning a feeder over 30 grams and being told very swiftly to sort himself out and buy some, the river was running hard and he borrowed 2 44 gram feeders from me and succeeded in losing one on a fish almost striaght away. DNW has been given a Janet and John pop up picture book demonstrating a 14 hook a 44 gram feeder and feeder rod reel line of 5lb or braid rather than the 3lb main line DNW uses, he cannot wait for the summer when the small fish turn up because they suit his gear when he can remember to bring it all. 
 
Theories abound as to why the fish are not having it and we are going to try the deep water opposite  the rowing club Sunday with the fervent hope that none of the new born rowers have been allowed out yet because they always end up in your keepnet if they do.The odd Bream was caught on the Waits late last week but the angler on there today (Friday) had not had a bite, so whatever the problem is it is affecting the silver fish too, as the Waits are usually heaving with smaller stuff this time of year.
 
Only a few weeks to go before the end of the river season for another year so get the dust off and get out there before it all ends until June and the fair weather anglers (Mini Myring etc) surface again.   
 
Sunday 18th Feb Jones deeps
Well, I suppose it had to happen one day but not as I recall for so many anglers on a mild day, no frost , no full moon  and lots of colour in the water, in fact perfect Bream/Tench weather. So, what was the oddity, not one angler had a bite in god knows how many hours of fishing thats what. As taker of monies prior to the match staring I had to hand it all back and to all of the people who had given it to me in the first place. Honourable exception was Compo who left at 12 as he could smell lunch being cooked and got off early so that he got a full plate.
 
Ian "stupid hat " Donaldson showed up with his new barrow which is so big he could have driven it down with all his gear and his family on board, I'm assuming it used to be a base unit for a family caravan. He let himself down though as he then proceeded to put on his mummy's yellow apron, apparently her first name is Sensa, well thats what it said on the front anyway.    
 
Senior Andrews bunked off again due to lack of breath and a note from his mum, I've told him to take up smoking because then he would have an excuse.
 
The rest of us did the DNW, further honourable mention to DNW who of course DNW making it once again DNW DNW.
 
The only other points of note was Moaner McGregor who moaned and 3 in 1 complete with new feeder rod which he spent most of the match polishing as he had nothing else to do, middle earth Sam rumbled his discontent and all in all it was a disaster. Totally blaming the whole fiasco on the salt and grit in the water and hopefully by this weekend it will have run off.
 
I have now fished 15 hours for 1 Roach and I am getting a bit fed up with it.
 
A mid week outing is planned and the Dolphin Meadow is the target to see if the Bream have shown up, I'll assume they have'nt at this point because I don't want to ruin my recent record
 
 
 
A Wednesday bit
Hardly worth the mention to be honest but DNW, Compo and myself had a go on the Waits and could not get a bite between us and this despite the mild weather overcast conditions and everything looking totally Breamy. I have a theory that the current torrents of flood water are very contaminated with salt and other debris from the recent long winded cold spell and this plus the high tides holding the water backs must mean that the current water quality is poor hence the fish are just sitting on the bottom until the water warms up and the quality improves once the flood water has gone through. Huzzah I am now David Attenborough but 30 years younger.
 
DNW and myself also spent the afternoon in the deeps at Jones as this is the only bit that was not under water, different style of fishing same result not so much as a twitch let alone a bite. A further theory here is that the ice on this part of the marina has only recently melted and as the water is at least 15 feet deep the very cold stuff has sunk to the bottom, where the fish are,and has stopped any fish feeding until the various parts of the water column warm up a bit. Even more science, I bet you never thought you would be reading almost sensible comments on this site. 
 
By Sunday we will have had a week without frost and mostly dry conditions the floods should be done and I hope that we can get into Jones but I seriously doubt we will get on the spit due to it having been underwater for the last 10 days. The last time this happened Compo tried wheeling his barrow across the mud and his 6 inch tyre increased its circumfrence to 2ft 6inch within 5 seconds of setting off. So the deeps it is,limited space as usual and call me if you want to fish, as an honest assessment I really do not have a clue what it will do, it should fish well but I had assumed that for Wednesday and it did'nt, still, what do I know. I suggest everyone rings Senior Andrews Sister for his views because its been so long since he bothered turning up his view must be seen as non biased, Wednesdays excuse, he had captured some Welsh people and would not let them leave until they had formed a choir and sung "how green is my valley" plus his mum has still not finished knitting his 3 feet thick gloves to keep his delicate little hands warm Ahhhhhhhhh.
 
So,for those that do, I will see you on the bank Sunday and for those that don't, very sensible.
 
 
Sunday 15th February
I suppose it had to happen eventually, on Sunday, nobody went fishing. A combination of the previous evenings romance and raging floods in (no particular order)  reduced bank attendance to zero. To be honest I only looked down the Waits in St Ives but being aware that Compo had received a weekend pass from the allotment police to go to Bristol and I had not heard from the hibernating SAS plus DNW had cried off and I assume 3 in 1 was spending the weekend re welding his tip rod ready to cope with his new inter continental 22 kilogram feeders, I pretty much already knew the turnout would be zero.
 
Compo and my good self did manage a couple of weird hours on the Waits on Thursday, I had 1 Roach first cast on the tip of 8 oz and that was it Compo had 1 and missed 2 bites in a 10 minute spell and that was that so we retreated about 2ish conceeding defeat to the snow melt flood water but thinking fish were on the waits as when Compo had arrived several of the black death were fishing on the stretch. Several of us are having a go on Wednesday with the forecast good and the weather a lot milder we shall see. The venue at the moment is a toss up between the Waits for Bream and maybe Roach or the deeps at Jones for Tench, Bream and Perch, we shall see, watch this space.
 
Sunday 8th
As noted below I thought no one would care or want to fish, based on minus 6 degrees Saturday night anyone with half a brain would be tucked up in bed or in front of the fire for the duration of the ongoing big freeze.
 
So with the above in mind, plus knowing the amount of intelligence involved I went out about 11ish to see who really was that stupid and low and behold outside of the Ferryboat at Needingworth( inside I could have understood but outside, no) I found Compo and 3 in1 looking like frozen garden gnomes, to be fair the sun actually was nice but the wind was freezing. Compo rang me later to tell that 3 in 1's feeder rod had now become 4 in 1 as it snapped on the last cast of the day we both agreed this would be due to the poor thing having to cast 3lb of pig iron, loosely called a feeder by 3 in 1, for the last 30 years.
 
Just to prove staying in was the correct option neither of them had a bite, no surprise there then.
 
As to this week, lap of the gods really, the weather forecast is snow, frost, freezing rain, sleet and just plain nasty, so, just like Hunstanton in August. We are trying to get out in the week or at the weekend, fishermen start to fret if they stay in for 2 weeks running and its usual for their wives to want to get them out for lengthy periods to save their marriages.
 
See you on the bank, I'll be the frozen person next to the other frozen persons, not Senior Andrews though due to his weak chest and his Mums note excusing him from everything, he is staying in until early July as his hands are cold. We are also a bit worried about mini Myring as he is so close to the ground and there has been a lot of frost, I expect he will be out of his greenhouse come Spring, he tends to winter in a compost growbag for the colder months.           
 
 
The match Sunday 8th
I rarely do this in fact I never accept fishing defeat prior to the fat lady singing her heart out, however, for any that might have been remotely interested I am not going fishing Sunday. I have checked both the Met Office and the BBC weather websites and tonight it is -3 and tomorrow night is -6 add in wind chill and snow on the ground plus the need for a industrial ice breaker before we could fish I am calling it a day until it warms up. If any of the cast of usual suspects are venturing into the Arctic wastes you must be madder than Mad McMad the maddest mad person who ever lived ( see Black Adder repeats if mistified). I, on the other hand, will be near a warm fire drinking a good Malt whisky.
 
Sunday 1st Feb Jones Spit
 
Now we can talk about cold, NE wind striaght in your face, I thought Compo had died 3 times as his heart rate had slowed to 1 beat a day,I have been that cold fishing once or twice but despite 12 layers of clothing it just went striaght through you and it got to a point where although I was'nt catching on the tip I did not want to get the pole out because it meant I would have to hold it.
 
Still despite this the odd fish was forthcoming Compo , on his return, was victorious with 4 smallish Bream for 8lb 14oz with Moaner McGregor second with 7lb 13oz one Bream and a good 5lbish male Tench plus a legite lip hooked 2lb Pike which as always did not count, third, and with a new nickname of "3 in 1" the mighty Artist formely known as, Breamy and other names but now ever to be known as "3 in 1" as this is his current ratio of hooked to landed fish. He was at it again on Sunday hooked 3 Tench, and one was a monster, landed one for third and 4lb 4oz. DNW DNW'd as did I, DNW did have at least 1 wrap round bite for a Perch of at least 1oz who must have been on Steroids, I did not have a single bite and to be honest had lost the will to live by 11.00 and was just grateful to get home alive.
 
Senior Andrews sent a note from his mum, as usual, saying he had to stay in as his chest was playing him up and he needed a new mustard poultice rubbing in, apparently he has had to stop playing under 14's netball as well due to chipping his nail varnish.
 
Next week, who knows, no mid week effort for me due to work committments, yes I do work, but, having looked at the forecast I don;t think I will be missing much. Compo said he might have ago Wednesday, so thats the last we will see of him.           
 
Thursday bit Jones spit
You see, this is what happens when Senior Andrews has yet another Senior moment and puts something on this section of the site. Firstly it was not cold in fact the sun was lovely,sad boy Senior WAS cold due to age and infirmity secondly it was Thursday not Wednesday easy mistake to make when your diary just says "off work" . It was a mass turn out for a mid week do, Compo returned from his Tulip pruning exercises and DNW had yet another days holiday, council jobs are great arn't they, Senior Andrews sort of turned up then went to the Doctors for 3 hours then came back and moaned about how cold he was for the next 3 hours. I was there to ensure order was maintained, dignity at all times being the societies watchword (not)
 
We all caught, Compo had 4 Bream I had 3 Bream and a Tench DNW had several on and landed 2 Tench and a Bream and even Senior managed a couple of Bream between moaning plus a couple of small bits so honours fairly even and all went home reasonably satisfied. Best moment of the day, Senior Andrews trying to throw his feeder and his reel in at the same time and succeeding. 
 
Forecast for Sunday -7 with wind chill
 
Wednesday was COLDDDDD
 
Sunday 25th Jones marina
What sort of match is it when only two turn up, Sunday I received several notes from parents saying that little DNW and Senior Andrews could not come out to play, excuses everywhere, but is was all about the weather that in the end actually was ok. Compo's excuse was slightly more believable in that he had left the country for the weekend, apparently some sort of annual compost corner meeting in Holland at which he was going to tell the Dutch what to put on their Tulips.
 
On the day the weights looked reasonably close "Breamy" as he can now be called again won for the second week running with 16lb 2oz and I came somewhere else. second or last depending on how harsh you want to be about it with 11lb 14oz , BUT, that is not the whole story, not even close.
 
I had 4 bites, 3 fish, one bream of just over 5lb and 2 smallish(smallish for the spit anyway) Tench, Breamy fished like a complete Numpty and would have made Junior Andrews look like Ivan Marks. The statistics were as follows, 11 fish hooked 4 landed 7 lost and at least another 12 bites completely missed, for most of the 5 hours his swim looked like a Jucuzzi as Bream and Tench fed on his Worm and Castor. The worse thing was he was no more than 4 yards from me but the fish just did not move and God knows I tried very hard to move them.
 
Now I have been on the wrong end of a hiding when fishing on many occasions and no doubt will be again but this was a hiding with a difference Breamy, who had 2 Bream, so gets his nickname back for a week at least, plus 2 Tench one of which was a big lump of 6lb 4oz, should have had at least 50lb and out of sight in fact so far ahead I should not have been able to see him if he waved on tippy toes. He blamed his size 10, yes 10, hook, he then blamed the worms and finally the fish because they were all line bites, amazing that he hooked and lost 7 slowly sliding away line bites but any port in a storm Paul. It got to a point that if I asked him whether he had just had a bite after a strike the answer became a permanent NO at one stage he almost got angry and Breamy never gets angry. He still won the match but interestingly refused the offer of another 30 minutes because he was scared "I might beat him and he would never live it down", his words not mine.
 
So in summary, I got first choice of swim and got absolutely slaughtered, but you would never have known if you looked at the weights.     
        
 
 
The intrepid Wednesday bit
 
We went, but someone forgot to tell the fish. Senior Sicknote Sister, myself and dead man walking, partially recovered Compo decided that with colour and flow, maybe,and I stress  the word maybe,the bream might be on the Meadow opposite Nobles Field, they were'nt. Compo had 1 big skimmer about 2lb and a chub of a 1lb I had 1big Skimmer about 2lb missed 1 bite and snapped on a proper fish which proves you should always check your mono leader when using braid, not very annoying at all to snap on the only wrap round on your tip all day still it made the others grin. SSS managed nader, zip , zero, nought, nothing, diddely squat not many more ways to say it unless I venture into foreign languages, still the sun was out and we all got some fresh air, great. 
 
Therefore with this in mind we are on the spit at Jones Sunday, colour in the water plus a bit of a flood and if, currently a big if, the temperature stays above freezing we might get one or two of the bigger greenish inhabitants , no not frogs, Tench.
 
If you are wanting to come and are reading this, spaces are very limited with 4 already taken and maximum peg numbers being 8, I do require a phone call.
 
Lots more rain is forecast but we do need a rise in temperature, if that happens, no frost, temps of 10 degrees or more then the last few weeks of the river season could be really good, so on that basis batten down the hatches it will probably snow until June    
 
Sunday 18th January Jones deeps
 
No ice no snow no Polar Bears or Penguins, in fact it was just cold and when the sun came out later it actually felt ok, BUT, the fishing was pretty dire with the exception of "The artist" who obviously bought a box of Perch with him and had a diver putting them on the hook , apparently very poorly because he could'nt catch more than 1 in 5 of the bites he had, he missed the first 7, while the rest of us just sat and looked at motionless floats his could'nt stay above the water for more than a couple of minutes and while he was missing we all laughed then he started catching them and we stopped laughing. the artist walked it with 6lb 3oz and the only person who came close was DNW (yes, I know after Wednesday he said he would win) with 4lb 1oz but only 3 fish one of which was a lovely Perch of 2lb 10oz, the marina really does hold some specimen Perch which I am sure some will go well over 3lb.
 
As to the rest of the numpties Ian Donaldson complete with Deputy Dog hat and looking like a throw back from a gold rush in the USA caught one fish, a pike, which, as we all know, because I keep doing it, don't count. I had 3 bites 2 fish and about 7oz so after the lord mayors show on Wednesday back to normal. Next to me and indeed next to the winner, and for some considerable time in the winners swim was the first outing of the year for Senior "Sick Note" Andrews Sistor. 2 bites one fish for 8oz and moaning about his bad back, trips to the doctor, fractured pole and even the amount of boats in the marina, god knows what he expects to find in a marina, certainly not fish.
 
Highlights of the day "The artist" sending all of his worms for a pre match swim obviously to wake them up which seemed to work, Senior Sick Note starting almost on time after only stopping 7 times getting from his car to the swim. DNW not DNW, weighing in and with a "fish of the day" in the net and not forgetting Compo turning up, ill, and coughing up stuff that a normal human would not have eaten in the first place plus looking like a dead man walking, cold sores and other mutant growths all over his face. He has yet to fish a match this year due to illness, plus a theory that he is bottling it since The artist took him to the cleaners a few weeks ago. So dear reader remember do not retire because you then spend the next 6 months sitting in the Doctors waiting room and comparing diseases with all the other members of the pensioners club.  
 
   
The Wednesday bit at long last
 
Happily, the return of the Wednesday bit after a lengthy period of work related issues plus my personal survival of the Manfluebolavirusdeath illness that I bravely forught off over the Xmas period.
 
So DNW and myself returned to the Jones marina deeps and on arrival somewhat dismayed to see a covering of ice from the nights pretty heavy frost. however the middle part of the deeps was clear and so we fished the 2 swims from our match 2 weeks ago. It was a good hour before we started to get bites but I was always confident that fish would be forthcoming, DNW was outstanding, 6 hours fishing 36 bites several lost on the way in, including at least 1 Tench and a couple of big Perch to end up with 6 Perch for 2lb, vintage DNW performance this is the stuff that makes him so feared in our matches. The only thing he has retained as a lasting memory of the day is whiplash from pulling out of so many fish.
 
I was fishing a good 4 feet from DNW and weighed about 16lb, nice days fishing, 1 Tench about 4lb and the rest were quality Perch with the biggest about 2lb the rest averaging 8oz with several at the 12oz to the 1lb mark. As the forecast has removed the immediate threat of frost and therefore ice for this weekend I am fairly confident that it will fish ok, I still wonder where all the Roach have gone but quality Perch in excellent winter condition with bright red fins are a more than adequate replacement, at least until things warm up and we can get back on the river.
 
As for DNW 30bitesmissed Smallhookmalling, Jon, it can only get better and you will have given Senior Andrews a great lift as he was the last one to get completely mullered from the next peg, as you said "as you have had a pigs ear today you might win on Sunday" we shall see.      
 
Sunday 11th January Jones Marina
Well we all know its been cold and this last few days has been into the very very cold part of winter, so with that in mind anybody, and I do mean anybody, with a few brain cells to scrape together would know not to bother. Sunday 4 more idiots turned up, we were of the opinion that, if we could fish it, the bay in the deeps of Jones could produce a few Perch, so off we toddled.
 
Firstly I had a go at the ice with my 2 rake heads drag and you could here the sniggering from the penguins skating across the ice, BUT, no worries the Artist, as with all the fishing gear he has, has an industrial strength drag which closely resembles a throw back to the weaponry of the middle ages and weighs about the same, suffice to say if he took it to Iraq it would have been on the "weapons of mass destruction" list.
 
So the 4 of us took a run up and launched the aforesaid weaponry into the air and it BOUNCED off the ice, enough is enough and we could see a clear bit of water in the shallows where the boats had been and a further forced march took place, in fact it was a good work out and as previously mentioned the artist cannot afford to lose anymore weight in fact we had to tie him to his platform once the wind got up.
 
So lets consider our expectations, shallowish clear water, ice all over it, a full moon( always kills the fishing) and a nasty southerly wind making any bite detection almost impossible. So like the Monty Python sketch where they were all called Bruce we all become DNW's except DNW himself who became a DNWDNW. 4 anglers 5 hours no bites, not even 1, it must be a record of sorts.
 
One interesting bit in the mind numbing process, Bomber Pankhurst found a piece of an Avon rod in the bushes behind him that he swears he sold to Duncan " hang my head in shame" Ray 30 years ago. We now have to find out why Duncan has thrown his rods in an area of Jones marina that the club has not fished for many many years and on Sundays performance won't be bothering again for a while.
 
Compo and Senior Andrews both threw a sicky but next week we might be back to full winter strength which is rarely above 6/7 anglers due to several of the older and lower to the ground individuals hibernating during the winter months.
 
Who knows if it stays mild next week we might even get a bite       
 
 
Sunday 4th January Jones marina
We limped into the new year with 4 hardy souls( read or replace with complete idiots) turning up for Sundays extravaganza in the deep bit of Jones. Deep here is very deep with14 foot being shallow and 17/18 foot being the norm. the logic was that being so deep we could get away with breaking the ice on top and still catch fish. Fortunately as we turned up so did 2 intrepid Pike anglers with a boat who did several laps around the marina to break the ice for us. Firstly god it was cold and the ice was getting to about three quarters of an inch thick, next week we are fishing on the ice Eskimo style so bring your drills and don't forget the guns to keep the Polar bears away, the penguins are ok just don't throw them any fish or they never go away.
 
Moaner Mcgregor turned up,late,of course and moaning as well, of course. DNW and Bre ashcroft ( who is now "the artist formerly known as" once again) also turned up plus me with after man flu symptoms i.e needing sympathy and getting none. So how did it go, well conditions were less than condusive for fish catching and knowing what had been caught the week before it was a mainly worm and castor approach, in fact I did'nt even open my maggots mainly because of the them screaming that it was to cold and they were'nt moving much, in fact it was that cold that I had to take the ice off the top of my castors once an hour for the whole 5 hours. So Perch was the target fish with the odd chance of an idiot Tench still drunk from the New Year celebrations.
 
Moaner moaned about the Ice,lack of fish, the cold, caught a few Perch and went home early, The artist reverted to type managed to lose a potential Tench and caught 4 Perch for 1lb 8oz. DNW Smallhookmalling fished like a numpty for an hour and a half catching a few Perch and either losing or missing several more than he caught. On investigation he owned up to fishing worm on a 16 hook, oh how we laughed it actually warmed us up a bit, DNW then admitted he did not own a size 14 hook and we laughed some more, not at him you understand but with him in a friendly surportive manner, not. He then lost a Tench and has keep the size 14 hook I gave him as a tenplate for his next visit to the tackle shop so he knows what they look like.he still managed a few Perch for a draw at 1lb 8oz with "The artist" who also lost a Tench, big fish and was very happy as you can imagine, 50 fags a half kilo of worm and he did not win, happy new year, it can only get better Paul.
 
So, who won, I can hear you all ask, well, me actually, fresh from my brush with Man Flu Ebola death, and in a new month so Stan's Fox award curse has now worn off. 7lb 5oz flattening the opposition by several miles and in that all Perch catch I had one outstanding Perch of 2lb 13oz a wonderful fish in fantastic condition. So I took the money and have started the year well much to "The artists" disgust as he needed the money for fags.
 
Next week the absent Senior Andrews returns as does Compo who came to watch for an hour and was like the kiss of death behind me as I missed 4 bites in a row with him standing there. I think we will have to go back into the marina and break the ice again the only trouble being that the forecast for the next week is very cold and the ice might not break unless we get a Royal Navy Ice breaker down from the Artic Circle. Hardy souls that we are I'm sure we will end up somewhere.
     
Wednesday 31st December
As usual and in keeping with a healthy 2008, I managed to catch a huge dose of man flu on Xmas Eve and have only just surfaced today feeling almost human, well, as close to human as I usually get that is. Sooooooo no fishing for me and no communication with anyone else means I have no idea who did what to whom last Sunday. All I know is the weather is bloody cold and most things, including me, are freezing or in the process of freezing over. The bit of time with twiddling fingers and nothing to do has bought me to the subject of annual awards based on the years fishing and in many cases moaning that the club has managed.
 
So here goes ( the cavaet being that the Secretary's(me) choice is final and there are no prizes or a glittering presentation night in Londons West End, more chance of a £1 lottery ticket presented outside West End shop in the St Ives Bridge Street, as long as you give me the £1 to buy the ticket)
 
Therefore, in no particular order,
 
1. Angler most likely to catch a fish bigger than him each week goes to Mini Me Myring, that is when he gets back from pantomine season with his 6 mates
 
2. Angler best equipped for mass bombing of wet targets goes to Bomber Pankhurst, once again unable to attend to accept the award as decided many areas of the world would benefit from his ability to redesign them and is appearing in certain areas abroad as we speak.
 
3. Angler most likely to change his nickname each week goes to Bre Ashcroft, currently on his 27th name of  the year, I still prefer "the Artist formerly known as" because he caught least when he had that name and funnily enough moaned more.
 
4 Moaner of the year, big award this one and several deserve mentions in despatches, Moaner Mcgregor for his sterling work when fishing in the Ivo when a Grebe caught more from his swim than he did, to myself the Geesemaister for constant abuse of all other anglers due to my inabilty to draw a half decent peg for the first 4 months of the season and of course to Compo for his superb one man chunter and toys out of pram during the workers versus management riots a couple of weeks back. BUT the winner must be Senior Andrews Sister who has managed a constant barrage of why me's throughout the season, good examples being, Why can't I catch fish when he can, Why can't Arsenal win anything, Why can't I catch fish when I draw the best peg, Why can't I draw the best peg and many others.
 
5. Best look a like, with out doubt Kevin Peacock for his consistant ability to look like Mr Crabtree even though he is 30 years younger.
 
6.Closest weight to Kate Moss award goes to the smoker of this year and in fact any other year for the last 30, Bre Ashcrorft, the only man who can double his weight on the scales by keeping his watch on.
 
7. Newcomer of the year goes to Did Not Weigh Smallhookmalling, well it would have done if he could remember where to go to get the award and come to that why he is getting the award and for what,
 
8. The Nickname most akin to a Shri Lankan opening batsman, no arguement, DNW Smallhookmalling
 
9 The angler most likely to grow prize vegetables and owning more allotments than the government, Compo, in fact the angler most likely to end each match at the allotment goes to Compo as well as does the pervy Santa of the year award.
 
10. Angler least likely not to remember his gear, honourable mention to me and Senior Andrews BUT the winner without doubt and most liable to have lost the award if we had bothered to give him one, DNW.
 
11. This years "hang my head in shame " award goes to Duncan Ray, despite a brave effort in the National his performance in the Fur and Feather will haunt him for many years.
 
12 Angler most liable to turn up with a small childs tackle to catch big Tench, Junior Andrews who also wins the how to mess up my Dads swim and then bugger off to watch football award plus the wettest phone soon to be a paperweight of the year plaque
 
13.Oldest old school angler goes to Sam "middle earth" Wellens, Horsehair line and peacock quills in abundance, also the "if it was good enough for Isaac its good enough for me" diploma. 
 
So thats it for 2008, hopefully 2009 will bring you, dear reader, all you wish for for you and yours, as for me I was Stanjays Foxes angler of the month in November and have hardly seen a fish since, funny thing awards
 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!   
   
 
  
 
 
  
 
Sunday 21st December Pike & Eel Marina
 
A truly excellent annual Fur & Feather is a relatively rare occasion, usually due to inclement weather, Polar Bear attack, frost bite or people trying to feed the anglers bread because they look so hungry (there are very few thin anglers except for the artist who is so thin he has to wear two thermal suits in Summer to keep him on the ground in case the wind gets up above 5mph). 
 
So, this one was an exception, firstly 12, yes I said 12 ,fished, several of whom could not respond to instructions, such as ring me re you are going to fish. The second thing was that based on last week we had to get everybody into a piece of water approximately the size of a largish pond because that was where the fish were. The pegging was tight several people turned round during the match only to find they had put on the next door neighbours coat, we are talking close. However, Ho Ho Ho Compo Claus drew well caught from the off at a huge rate and took a big early lead that no one could close to win the match with 26lb and the award for "bad Santa of the year" scaring several small children in the process some to such an extent that they have turned Jewish just to ensure he does'nt turn up round their house on the night of the 24th. All the fish were less than 1lb but the 3 to 4 foot of water must have had 18inches of fish in it, it was rammed with silver fish and Mr Seal did not show which helped, probably on a day trip organised by the Environment Agency to eat someone elses fish for a change.
 
Every net contained Skimmers, Roach, Rudd, Perch,the odd Chub, Dace and Bleak with DNW even catching a Polyruff.
 
In second place, Bombardier Pankhurst, fresh from nuking the neighbours, with 21lb plus with many nice Roach, but found wanting on several occassions regarding his new soon to be released DVD "how not to land a fish over 6oz" with a guest appearance from Senior Andrews, who I had the honour of fishing next to, who managed to make a very simple operation look harder than"solving the Rubics Cube for the blind.
 
The mighty senior Andrews managed third and fished at 4 meters all morning as did the Bombardier, myself and middle earth sam tried a long worm line for too long and it is quite surprising with 4 on one landing stage how important it is to be at the end pegs and not in the middle, especially if one is lacking in the art of watercraft. Suffice to say I had 14lb 10oz and Sam managed 9lb 12oz good weights normally but no good today.
 
The Artist had quite a few Skimmers so the name has to change back to "Bre" Ashcroft, he will regain the remaining "amy" if he catches a " proper one", good weight though with him and Moaner Mcgregor in prime swims and recording 18lb 13oz and 18lb 6oz respectively. Actually moaner did'nt moan, well he did'nt dare as I had already changed his name on the weigh sheet to something unrepeatable here, this being due to his being late and not telling me he was coming 
 
Our resident semi profeesional turned up in the shape of Duncan Ray, prime draw, smug look on face until he saw what others had caught, I don't think he was very happy when I expressed my disappointment with nearly 15lb as he had 11lb, quote of the day and new nickname, " Hang my head in shame" Ray.
 
The minature Myring fished as did grandson who sat next to Compo Claus, Tom is in counselling and possibly will be a changed lad after 5 hours next to the allotment maister, mini Ray had 10lb plus and retained his senior angler status as Tom managed 8lb plus, but he will be good if he keeps at it and keeps away from Compo, in fact that applies to everyone.
 
DNW Smallhookmalling returned unharmed and with all his fishing skills still in Wales, DNW has no idea about fish weights and his guess at 3lbs plus turned into 6lb 8oz on the scales, impressively DNW remembered where to fish and his tackle but we won't know if he got home until next Sunday as 3 things correctly remembered in one day will probably cause a system overload. I felt sorry for our 12 place angler,Ian Donaldson as his was the draw you did not want at the end of the spit and near Hang my head but the fish got that far eventually and he managed 6lbs plus.
 
So, in summary 170lbs plus between 12 and not a big fish in the lot, it just makes you wonder how good it would be without the Seal and the many Cormorants that are forever circling the place, any match that is fair and gives nearly everyone a chance with an average weight of over 14lb a man is a very good match indeed. Shame that we won't get another go until next year at the same time.
 
This being the last match report before Xmas may I take this opportunity to wish you, dear reader, I am assuming there is still at least one, a very happy Xmas. We do intend to fish a match Sunday and it WILL, are you listening Tony, need to be rang through to reserve a place as we will probably be in Jones marina and space is limited              
 
The Wednesday bit
 
Well, actually there isn't one, I had an end of year audit. oh such fun and how we all laughed at the suited individual with the big brief case and no sense of humour, not.
 
One bit to add though re Compo and Alconbury Brook the other week, apparently Vertically Challenged Myring and Mr Crabtree emptied the place with well into double figures Roach catches and compo managed, wait for it, two Roach. He is now blaming his current hand cream on upsetting the fish. Two scary thoughts occur, one, that Compo starts his day with a full cosmetic regime which includes hand cream whilst in his nightie whistling show tunes like "climb every mountain" and two, that Roach prefer Parmolive to Nivea and how would they know the difference.
 
Xmas looms, Compo Claus is soon to be among us and I will have a hangover which the sight of him in that costume will not help. Happy days  
 
 
Sunday 14th December Pike and Eel marina
 
You sometimes wonder why you bothered and Sunday for several of us was exactly that feeling, I mean, I love Seals I think they are cuddley and when they look at you with those mournful eyes you just want to.............. I'm sorry, I appear to have lost every male hormone in my body. THIS Seal I hate as it rampaged through the water eating the fish stocks and showing us its work visa stuck in its flipper (well, if its good enough for the eastern europeans). Compo raged and ranted and caught"nowt" but it was just like Xmas when he came to empty his net it was full of 1 inch Roach which had swum in and could not get back out, Compo has now promised to dress as Jesus next week and will do the loafs and fishes trick again, but without the loaves in fact mainly fish. He must have had 250 fish in his net without seeing a single bite, surely, a quiz question on some tacky sports programme in years to come.
 
We also had a visit from a rare visitor, the lessor spotted Pankhurst, specimen hunter by trade but will now be known as Bomber Pankhurst as his opening groundbait salvo would have destroyed St Ives let alone the 3 feet of water in front of him which rapidly became 2 feet after the salvo, the consensus being that he wanted to walk into his swim and pick the fish off the top of the groundbait heap. The worrying aspect of the bombardment was Bomber whistling the Dambusters theme song whilst he destroyed the local habitat. Funnily enough his only bite was from the Seal but it was a wrap round on the tip but no cigar and just the sound of sniggering from the water. So yet another DNW then.
 
It was a day for rarities Ian Donaldsons wife let him out for the morning having told him to wrap up warm if he was going to play with the big boys, whoever brought him the Deputy Dog hat had a great sense of humour, I realise fishermen and street cred do not go together but this was a new low, He also became a DNW, mainly due to the head gear, as no respecting animal let alone fish would have come near it.
 
Very much closer to the ground we also found a lessor grown Myring climbing over the grass to get to his swim, apparently, where the Seal lived which as you can imagine made Rays day. He stomped about, well as much as size 2, childrens,shoes can stomp and shouted abuse at the aforesaid Seal who once again waved his work permit and munched on. Ray moved, difficult for one so low to the ground, and went in a more sheltered spit and proceeded to empty it Roach Skimmers Rudd and Perch which showed the Seal had herded the fish into a very small area where 4 of us were'nt. Unfortunately 2 of us were, The artist also ranted for 3 hours and then started to catch and proceeded to wiegh 6lb 7oz of various silver fish for second place.Still no Bream though.
 
SO, me, I had 2 bites 2 Perch and 3oz for third, 100% catch record but then Compo had 1,000,000% catch record several hundred fish and no bites. In the wrong place, with the Seal back in the marina, fish were in the thinner parts where plenty of boats were or herded up to the end by the slipway.
 
Who won, I hate this bit, Senior Andrews sat on a shed load and caught almost throughout the match for 10lb 2oz of mainly small stuff but with the odd better stamp Roach, Rudd and Skimmers, He missed loads but then he had loads in front of him so we now know where to peg for next weeks Fur & Feather match hence the reason for the practice on the marina.
 
To summarise then, 5 of us fished where there was no fish, except 2 perch and a shoal of small suicidal Roach and the other 2 sat on a shedload of herded silver fish. As it was a rover we can only blame ourselves.
 
Next week Ho Ho Ho and all that stuff, Compo dressed as Santa, Santa dressed as Compo, Senior Andrews dressed as Management, The artist unable to be seen due to cigerettes smoke and (fanfare) the return of the original DNW Smallhookmalling who will come dressed in shorts and teeshirt because by now with his memory he will remember that he gets up on a Sunday just not why.
 
Gentlemen, next week please bring a bottle,prize etc unless its for me in which case a Masserati Quatroporta will do nicely.Ex Dem if necessary will do.       
 
 
Wednesdays bit
 
Well basically there was'nt one that I was involved with, to much work and a short working month ruins much of December, Compo has gone with Mr Crabtree to the Alconbury Brook because the Roach ( yes its not a myth there are still roach in certain places, museums mainly) are feeding. I have'nt heard anything yet but no doubt if Compo made it back a further report will follow. Senior Andrews absense is due to medical reasons, mainly he is now moving so slowly that he seized up on the way home Sunday and his wife has had to order WD40 in bulk to get him moving again. As this is now Thursday I can now mention that the supposed photograph of me in the Hunts Post is obviously a picture of my grandfather and when I get hold of the newly lubricated SAS I will make him take pictures of his spleen internally, at least bathing in WD40 will make the insertion easier. 
 
The Committee have their annual Xmas dinner to night (thurs), I am beginning to wonder about some of the committee members as I have only ever seen them after dark and they appear to be well over a hundred years old. Still the opening toast of "blood of young virgins is just not the same anymore" should have given me some idea.    
 
Sunday 7th December Jones Marina
 
Well I suppose all good things must come to an end and the recent form on the marina is no exception. In fairness why we were even there is a mystery, COLD compared to Wednesdays walk in the sunshine this was very very cold, The obligatory Polar Bears asked if they could sit in our cars to warm up.
 
4 complete idiots turned up with DNW Smallhookmalling still in captivity in Wales although we have received a ransom note containing £20 and asking us to take him back from the "keep Wales for the Welsh" crew. In memory of DNW's lack of memory I managed to forget my nets, which really meant I knew I would'nt need them, and Senior Andrews forgot his Castors which meant very little as  it turned out. So, at the draw SAS drew prime peg yet again Compo drew 2 and they then had a small war about who was to fish where with Elf & Safety(well, it is nearly Xmas) being quoted ref unsafe landing stages by Compo (staunch Union man) and SAS telling him that he would have fished on the boards because he was as hard as nails (management position) eventually a victory for management with Union boy backing off further down the spit muttering unmentionables regarding management and the down trodden workers, with a final defiant mutter Compo sat in peg 5 with me and the artist still formally known as in 3 and 4 holding hands.
 
As to the match and fish catching, well Compo read his paper and wandered about still threatening that "come the revolution brothers we will all fish in peg 1", interesting veiwpoint but somewhat crowded I would think. 
 
First immediate problem was the ice, SAS had his drag with him and proceeded to throw it out, design fault apparent in his inability to secure the other end to anything and the obvious pained look as the blue string keep on going and sat looking at him 5 yards out, still on top of the ice he was trying to break, he got it back eventually and I gave him the instruction manuel to read before he had another go. Senior A, as avid readers will know, is not the quickest to set up or, come to that, pack up at the end, today he set new levels of slowness finally fishing at 9,25 this was from a 7.30 draw, not that it made any difference. 
 
I drew first blood with my only, yes, is was a bit slow, bite this turned out to be a 3lb Pike much to my colleagues joy as it does not count, this next bit puts the whole match into context, the next and only other bite that all 4 of us had was, wait for it, 5 minutes from the end of the 5 hours. The artist formerly known as had a smallish Tench of 3lbs for the win much to his delight, The artist has been without a win since early August and was beginning to despair, we all go through it.So 3 DNW's and one spawny eyed, how lucky can you get escapee from Godmanchester.
 
Next week, probably subject to the weather, but possibly a practice match at the PIke & Eel prior to the Fur & Feather the following week, at some stage in the next couple of weeks I shall put some thought to the end of the years match awards with several strong contenders for the prestigeous awards such as "Person most liable to leave himself at home" and the " Why does he catch and I don't" award plus this years special award for a lifetime time service to"Compost Corner" and the always keenly contested " Who can smoke the most fags in a 3 hour match" certificate, all votes will be irrelevant as I get the casting vote, the nominees all have a good idea who they are, thats the ones that can read of course and not the rest.           
   
The usual Wednesday bit
 
It all got a bit antiques roadshow with me and Compo taking a turn in the marina, firstly we had to kick the polar bears off the spit, god it was cold but a truly "god is in his heaven" winters day, barely a gust of wind and wall to wall winter sunshine, even though the frost never got off the ground where the sun had'nt shined. Then the conversation turned to the river and how it had changed over the years, I have fished it for 40 years from the age of 1 (obviously, still got the boyish good looks etc) and Compo also 40 years after he had escaped the Lancashire allotment wars of 62, stole a passport and he and his spade turned up in St Ives in the early 60's at the tender age of 123 ( still looks like a Northern Troll).
 
In those days you rarely used a feeder rod it was all waggler or stick float and the big fish were Chub usually with Roach, Dace and Gudgeon with the odd Perch and Bleak. A Tench was a rarity and you managed the odd Bream if the floods came, usually off the Waits in the middle of St Ives, simple times dear reader. 
 
So we progress to now and Wednesday, Senior Andrews would have been proud of Compo, we fished within 3 yards of each other, him, in prime swim and me next door. The scores on the doors at weigh in were Compo 2 fish, mind you they did weigh 10lb, and me 12 fish for 51lb 7oz. Interestingly the Bream fed and I had 6 and lost 3, I actually fished like Junior Andrews, sorry, I meant numpty and missed at least 12 bites on worm that sailed away and I did not connect with anything on the strike. The point is how is it possible to catch, in my case ,6 Tench with the best touching 7lb, lovely fish and went like a train, in weather that in the old days you would have struggled to catch anything.
 
We were both astonished at how good the fishing was on a very bright, very cold day that was totally against anything being caught, but as the immortal and now at least 169 year old Compo said "funny game, fishing" and he knows. 
 
We will try again Sunday, I'm on a hatrick and SAS is in tears trying to stop the rot, If we see Junior Andrews this week , firstly it will be a miracle as he normally has to lie down in a darkened room for 4 weeks after every attendance and secondly I hope he brings real fishing tackle and not stuff he obviously nicked off a small child in the summer. DNW has not been heard or seen since his trip to Wales so I assume he is being held hostage by the " keep Wales for the Welsh appreciation society" or he has joined a choir. Breamy has been in his Santa's workshop all week making a new improved heavy plutonium grade feeder for an all out assault to catch the previously missing Bream so that he can get his nickname back, the low loader is on hire for Sunday to get it to the match.
 
The last scary thought is that Compo's Santa outfit is coming out of the shed for the Fur and Feather match on the 21st, he makes Freddy Kruger look like a cuddly kitten when he's got that on.    
 
 
Sunday 30th November Jones marina
 
Certain things are relatively rare these days, blue moons, double headed cows, banks with money that sort of thing, well , we now add an unseasonal sighting of the lessor spotted Junior Andrews Sister who attended Sundays wet and cold offering in the marina. At the draw the joint Senior and Junior Andrews Sisters were over the moon (football speak) to have drawn prime pegs one and two on the spit, I had, of course with pegs 1,2 and 6 left in the bag, drawn 6 the least wanted peg. 
 
So on we go, 6 fished, DNW apparently, having obtained a passport, had fought his way out of Godmanchester and gone to Wales to watch some Rugby thingee, men playing with queer shaped balls, you know what I mean. On recent performances from DNW I doubt he would have found Wales or he would have forgot his car or both.
 
The Andrews Sisters took the usual time to get to base camp at peg 1 and 2, both of them needing Sherpa surport due to lack of oxygen availability, plenty of it in the air just not in their lungs, Senior taking DNW's place in the "things to forget" catorgory, good effort on his part to forget your coat on one of the wettest days of the year so far.
 
No one was particularly inspired with an immediate bite let alone a fish, anyway, I in peg 6 and Compo in peg 5 adopted the big feeder lay down a bed of bait approach, well at least I did until I threw it one way and the big feeder went the other, slight design fault but never mind. Very odd match I had a Tench in the first hour and then nothing, then junior and senior had a Tench on at the same time, Junior had tackled up with a size 4 elastic and relatively skinny line for Tench that can weigh nearly 7lb, its a bit like trying to kill a Bear with an air rifle, possible but very difficult. In this case the Tench took the lot hook, float, line attachment, and elastic all went in different directions, oh how we laughed. Senior landed his and it was a very nice fish. Junior tackled up again and did it all over again losing the next Tench at the landing net. The laughter had reached choaking levels with various comments offering our commiserations most of which seemed to end with the word numpty. Junior then missed one more bite got wet for a couple of hours and went home early fishless with the comment "I'm going to watch football" this now being the alternative to buying an allotment from Compo.
 
Long story short I had 2 more Tench in the last hour for the win with 12lb 6oz, and yes its now 4 out of 5, SAS's one tench wighed a very nice 6lb 4oz but I think in his defence (not something I do much of) Junior losing 2 in clear water right next to Seniors swim must of killed it. I have to say this as I had 17 Tench on Thursday from the same swim and even I cannot be that cruel and draw the obvious conclusions that Mick must remember to put bait on his hook, its an age thing.
 
The artist formerly known as is still just that, but he had 1 Tench for 3lb 6oz and third, having lost 2 more, which, I assume taking into account he was on the "heavy elastic", meant they were either treble figure fish or were in a car. Compo and middle earth Sameulwise were both DNW's and I am slightly worried that like the Monty Python sketch about Bruce we might all end up with the same nicknames, still there can only be one DNW and he is lost in Wales trying to find passport control.
 
Next week God knows its rained for 20 hours so I assume the river will be up and colour back in it, so we will see, I once said this was just like Hollyoaks but I now think this is at least funnier.       
 
 
The Wednesday bit that was a Thursday bit this week
 
Best laid plans and all that, for various reasons I could not make Wednesday and neither could Senior Andrews, Compo decided it was not for him either and as he was invading France on Thursday, apparently to steal all of their alcohol and D N W Smallhookmalling was opening the batting in Shri Lanka, it was left to Senior Andrews and me to fly the flag.
 
So Thursday AM we had a go in Jones and I must admit with little hope on my part as it had got colder and the water had very little colour left in it, as usual I unloaded the car and then sat down for a short nap waiting for SAS to unload his, seriously slow would only be reached by SAS if he increased output by 100%. By Friday( Ok not quite that bad, but close)  we had reached the pegs at the end of the spit and I, because Micks moans he has never drawn the best peg, magnaminously let him have peg 1 and I sat 5  yards away. 
 
No one catches anything in these pegs for 2 hours minimum, its the unwritten rule, so I had 2 Tench in the net prior to Mick wetting a line and it was one of those red letter days you dream about when you are dozing in front of the fire in deep mid winter.
 
Mick resorted to fishing my swim whenever I had landed a fish and ended up with 5 big Tench which would have weighed close to 30lb, big fish.
 
I had 1 3oz Perch, 1 2lb Pike ( legit hook in mouth, they like worms), 1 5lb Bream and 17 Tench averaging over 5lbs for over 90lbs of fish, I assume that God decided as my shower was leaking my lights fusing and my boiler breaking that I had stood enough this week and the Tench were my reward for not throwing the towel in. They were beautiful fish with the biggest probably approaching 7lb and several over 6lb which for what are fundamentally river fish was an unbelieveable stamp. 
 
So thats it, all my luck used up in one day and I assume I used all Mick's as well.
 
This week we will have another go in Jones but as there are only 8 swims maximum on the spit we fish and 7 places are automatically reserved for the regular anglers I assume if we get a surge of estwhile match men they will have to be club members and have fished the earlier matches to qualify for the marina matches.
 
Exciting isn't it       
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunday 23rd November Jones Marina
 
Any sensible person would have stayed in bed, but anglers are not known as outstanding in that area so 6 intrepid (for intrepid read idiots) turned up to have a go and what a match it was. Mr Wellens turned up striaght from his latest role as the rock troll from middle earth ( read lord of the rings, sorry I forgot who I was talking to, buy the DVD). Sam had one fish a superbly conditioned 2lb 9oz perch for last place. Next up was the artist formally known as, no point in putting Breamy its been so long since he caught one. One tench and one Perch for 4lb 5oz and several wrap round misses on the tip, well played sir, Paul was not happy but that was a given anyway because he's hardly ever happy. In 4th place DNW has finally weighed in, apparently suffered dizzy spells half way through and had to sit in his car but on the upside he did remember his bait and tackle so things are getting better for DNW. He only had 2 fish but when one was a Tench of approx 6lb 7oz and the other a 2lb Perch you don't mind that much, so DNW managed 8lb 9oz.
 
Senior Andrews fresh from his failure on Wednesday managed to bump at least 3 Tench and the 2 he caught were 5lb a piece, so just like Arsenal the mighty Mick is slipping lower in the table. 2 fish for 9lb 14oz is fairly impressive though and I assume the other 3 Tench he lost would have added another 15lb to his net, so never mind Mick, nice try and almost a cigar.
 
2nd place fresh from appearing in panto in Bristol as a bag of compost, the even more mighty than Mick, Compo. The draw was not great for Compo but we had discussed a feeder approach to some of the slower swims earlier in the week, and it worked. A big cage feeder and 10 chucks to lay a bed of feed for the fish two thirds out was the key. Compo had 5 Tench and 2 Bream, and lost another Tench at the net that might have won him the match, we all agreed that 23lb 12oz from the swim he was on and considering the temperature and inclement weather was a great result.
 
So, to the winner, the Geesemaister, 3 wins out of 4 matches people, my luck in the draw bag has seemed to return, no doubt only until this week  now that I have said it. I drew peg 1, the end of the spit and acknowledged as the place you really want to be. Not a touch for 3 hours and then in the last 2 hours 6 bites and 6 fish. I very rarely have fished a match and hooked and landed every bite, in fact I don't think I ever have, but today was the day. 5 Tench and one magnificent 2lb 12oz Perch for a total of 27lb 8oz which on the day and in the conditions was fantastic, and, I might add, highly enjoyable. 
 
Everyone went for it with chopped worm and castor and because we know the average size of these Tench is approaching 5 lbs 2 fish in the last 5 miutes can win you the match, in fact Compo's last Tench and my last Tench were both caught in the last 10 minute, my last Tench was 6lb as well,I had 3 Tench in the last 40 minutes which won me the match. In this marina its not over until the fat lady sings.or in this case the bald match secretary shouts.
 
Next week, who knows, we have several options and as the colour is dropping out of the river it will get more difficult especially with the temperatures being so low, but as per Sunday, you never know.              
 
 
A Wednesday bit
 
As the boats have been moved round and in many cases lifted out of Jones marina this week, 3 hardy souls, Compo, Senior Andrews and myself decided to have a go. First problem was the change of keys for the back gate which created mayhem in Senior Andrews mind, he thought we were still unloading our gear so he waited and waited whilst we stood next to our swims waiting and waiting for him, it could have gone on all day but we bit the bullet and went and got him , mind you in true SAS (Senior Andrews Sister) style he took another 30 minutes to cover the 100 yards to get to his peg and eventually started fishing half an hour after us. Not that it mattered as he was first to score and he had 2 big skimmers a couple of Roach and a big Tench before Compo and myself had had a bite.
 
But, me and Compo know a thing or two about this venue mainly that it can take 2 hours to get a bite and then all hell lets loose as the fish find the bait. SAS's early doors smug look had a worried slant to it as he kept repeating the mantra that we were bound to catch him up and stuff him out of sight. Fair play, 4 hours later I had 8 Tench to 6lbs Compo had 4 to 5lbs, I had several nice Perch to 1lb 4oz, a big skimmer with several Roach to 4oz and Compo had 3 big skimmers and some nice Roach with the best one topping 12 oz, where have they been all year.
 
SAS had pretty much what he had in the first 2 hours with the additional lose of 3 more Tench and a couple more skimmers. So there is a god after all. We intend to fish it Sunday in the match BUT the colour is dropping out of the water and its going to get very cold, so once again we shall see.
 
I would note if anyone wants to fish the match, in this venue, it is with club permission only and you must be a regular angler with the club. There are no concessions to any club member for pleasure fishing on this water and we are only able to fish matches in it after the boats are removed for winter with the kind permission of the Marina owner Mr Mick Jones. 
 
 
Sunday November 16th The Waits
 
Very worrying times we live in, credit crunch, jobs losses, house prices plummeting, Liverpool top of the league and to add to all this woe Senior Andrews sister has won 3 out of the last 4 matches he has fished, Sunday he was at it again, 4 fished Compo having gone to survey other family members allotments and no doubt dig a bit if possible.
 
Firstly DNW Smallhookmalling managed to acheive new depths of ineptitude on Sunday ( yes,its a big word lads look it up). When a match angler goes fishing there are various bits of kit he should remember and DNW's list of non remembered items went like this, No castor, No Maggot and no ground bait bucket, unfortunately he lived up to his nickname and no fish was also added to the non remembered list. DNW has put in a bid for part of Compo's allotment empire so that he would have somewhere to go to lick his wounds every Sunday about 10.30.
 
As to the match, the artist formerly known as Breamy is still living up to his nickname as well, Paul added enough worm to start his own farm but we had really arrived 2 days late on the Waits and the water had returned to normal levels, which is very shallow, 3 feet max anywhere on the stretch. The Bream had no doubt gone back to the deeper water on the meadow and we were left with the silver fish only. Breamy managed 2lb 13oz and at least 3 hours moaning about how hard it is on the Waits how he was never going their again and how life was'nt fair and he could'nt win for love nor money and on and on and on.
 
I had 3lb 14oz for second, small Roach a few bleak and the odd Dace plus some very small new skimmers, If I had had another hour I might have caught Mick as my catch rate improved dramatically in the last 30 minutes. I suppose a hat trick was to much to ask for.
 
Senior Andrews sister caught regularly for the first 4 hours one or two reasonable Roach and lots of small bits for 5lb 1oz and the win, I assume we now await the other 6 plagues that come after the first one i.e senior Andrews winning matches, whats next I ask, DNW turning up with all his gear, Breamy Ashcroft actually catching a Bream, Compo cancelling his monthly subsciption to "Allotments R Us", Senior Andrews not moaning about Arsenals lack of consistancy for at least an hour every Sunday morning or me not moaning about the draw, its madness I tell you, madness.
 
Next week, once again in the lap of the gods, it depends on if we get more rain of not. The Dolphin looked really nice from the bridge on Sunday but we might have access to one of the marina venues this week as it is boat moving time and if it stays mild and we can get in Jones the tench might feed. We are assuming that this is where the Tench have gone as they have totally disappeared from the main river in the last 2 months.
 
Watch this space.       
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
One of those bits
 
5 of us went to Earith Marina on a special invite on Wednesday, river being in major spate we thought now would be a good time, well, we saw Comorant and a baby Seal but very few fish,. Packed up at 12.30 and decided to have a go on the Waits in St Ives, it had looked really good the day before. Senior Andrews chose well as usual and went behind the church and recorded a further DNW. Myself and Mr crabtree had a go at the traditional shallow end towards the old Anglers Rest mainly because I could'nt be bothered to walk far and we could'nt get parked. The stick float did'nt work but I had 5 bream on feeder and lost one at the net plus missed 3 or 4 bites. Chopped worm and castor was the bait and the last 2 Bream were 4lb and 5lb so nice fish. Compo had a go on Thursday and I know had lost 4 and caught 1 by 9.00 so the match on Sunday looks as though it will be on the Waits subject to the river staying up
 
      
Sunday 9th November "B" Section
 
A bit like London buses, I can't win a match for love nor money and then 2 come along. Yet another veritable triumph for the Geesemaister on Sunday. Hard work with 5 fishing and DNW a no show due to having previous with the rowing community and not wishing to have another 3 junior rowers in his keepnet like last time out on "B". Funnily enough the rowers were low profile and did not cause much disturbance at all.
 
The artist formerly known as Breamy Ashcroft was first to catch pegged in the Dolphin marina mouth and throwing a large sink shaped feeder as close to the St Ives bridge as he could manage off a short run up. I would have had a fiver with compo that A, he could have hit the bridge if he had really tried and B.if he had of hit it it would have collapsed under the assault of the highly illegal weapons grade feeder that Breamy uses, fortunately he had only brought the "small" feeder with him as the large one can only be delivered to his peg on the back of a low loader, 8 wheeler. Breamy's first fish was his biggest of the day in the shape of a 3lb 7oz Pike. Said Pike then spent the next 4 hours trying to climb out of Breamy's net to attack him, the girly screams have got to stop Paul, its not manly.
 
Subequently Breamy managed to miss a bite a cast for several hours and ended up with one big skimmer and a few bits for 2lb 10oz. I was next peg on the moon landscape bit of the meadow where nothing grows after the boat festival that, as we were promised, would put everything back as it was before the festival, yeah right. Still it was dry and I caught 4 smallish Bream for 7lb 13oz the winning weight on the day.
 
Compo was opposite the rowing club where it appears people shout at each other a lot which helped the fishing no end, he had one good Bream plus a couple of bits for 3lb 10oz and third in proceedings. Compo lasted all day and only threw his bucket in the river once but chased maggot box lids on several occassions like a young Red Setter he sprang off his box on several chases all of which he won and returned with said lid in his mouth, windy day, but Compo got a workout and went home with shiney eyes and a wet nose for his Bob Martins tablets
 
A less frequent visitor to the match scene is Ian Donaldson who was dropped off by his wife and told to be a good boy and to play nice with the other lads. I did'nt see his packed lunch but I did think fishing in short trousers was a bit extreme considering the wind, apparently not coming from Compo this week, which was a tad brisk. Ian had a smallish skimmer and some nice Roach for 5lb 13oz and second place fishing end peg in the bay. Next to Ian was the all conquering Senior Andrews sister, fresh from his 2 in a row triumph, unfortunately Mick has obviously peaked to soon and recorded a DNW on the day which apparently was not in memory of DNW himself but was just a bad choice of swim, no fish, to sunny, not enough colour in the water, to windy and his head hurt, basically it was every one elses fault just not Mick's.
 
Next week, don't know yet, a few intend to venture out on Wednesday and we will decide Sundays venue after then.
 
 
 
 
 
 
On of those extra bits again( Unusually serious as well)
 
I have been asked by the chairman of  St Ives Angling Society to clarify the conditions for us fishing in private waters such as The Pike and Eel and Jones's marina's. We are only allowed to fish on match days, we have no permission to fish prior to December for either water , i.e Sunday mornings only on pre agreed dates, in the Pike and Eel we fish our Fur and Feather Xmas match and this year have been fortunately given the chance for a practice match. Jones Marina again allows Sunday morning only once the boats have been removed from the water and this normally is not until December.
 
As club Secretary I would welcome club members to fish our matches but I would expect anglers to surport matches throughout the year if they wished to fish these private waters late season.
 
Blimey, the first serious bit on the match reports section, I expect to be running for Prime Minister in the near future 
 
 
Sunday November 3rd Pike and Eel marina
 
Mark it down in the diary people, Geesy has ended the drought and what a triumph it was. We fished a rover on Sunday mainly because no one knew where to fish. 4 turned up, and guess who was last out of the bag, yes, yours truly again. Still you can always rely on DNW Smallhookmalling to pick the worst spot in the marina and he was first out of the bag, they say God looks after idiots and children so in that case DNW is hugely blessed. We weighed him first and his comment was "probably 4lb if I'm lucky" which rapidly turned into 8lb 13oz, good judge of fish weight is our DNW.
 
Next was Compo, who managed to sit on his pole somewhere during the proceedings and break it , new pole as well. Still the fishing was good, it must have been as he never moved from his box except to mend his pole, bless him, and he weighed 18lb 9oz of Roach, Perch and Skimmers up to 12oz a really nice mixed bag of the old school style. Breamy Ashcroft picked a nice corner swim with access to several different parts of the marina and he managed 13lb 10oz once again a mixed bag but without Compo's skimmers.
 
Then there was me, 4th out of the pag last choice of swim, but got just where I wanted to be in one of the bowl parts of the marina, unfortunately Captain Birdseye opposite decided he had to leave at 8.45 to go a yo ho hoying up the river. His big cruiser had side jets to help him turn just over the top of my maggot line in 3 feet of water, at that point I balled in a couple for baiting up and went walk about. I decided on my return that the worm line was a better bet and started to catch Perch until 10.00 at which point the bream turned up, still in 3 feet of water, I had 7, 3 lb to 4lb fish with a few smaller specimens in the 1 to 2lb bracket and 10 lb of good Perch up to 1lb for a total of 40lb 5oz , oh happy day, and Mick turned up to see the weigh in but due to his no show this week he is still on a hat trick.
 
The marina at the Pike and Eel is a really good fishery as is Jones marina at St Ives and both venues very kindly let the odd match occur without cost to the club and I would like to pass the clubs thanks to John, at the Pike & Eel for allowing us to fish on Sunday.
 
So, in summary, DNW caught nearly 9lb(note DNW thats 9 not 4) for last in the match and that does not happen very often, at least not in natural fishing conditions outside of the commercial lakes. Compo's backside is big enough to break a carbon pole no surprise there then. Breamy did'nt catch Bream in a place that is full of them so I think a change of nick name is to be considered, "the artist formerly known as Breamy" springs to mind and I can take my fishing gear off Ebay and cancel my direct debit with them at least for this week.
 
Next week "The return of the Senior Andrews sister" currently more chance of a hat trick then any member of his beloved Arsenal, we shall see.
      
 
 
 
 
Extra bit
 
Compo and DNW Smallhookmalling ( who is now beginning to sound suspiciously like a Shri Lankan opening batsman) have gone to Factory Bank in Ramsey and I am working and distinctly unamused. I phoned DNW at lunchtime and they are both bagging with Compo having caught 130 Roach so I assume he must have his socks off because he can't count that high normally. they are fishing bread punch and white maggot and the place must be stuffed with fish especially considering the frost last night.
 
On a seperate note we are having a practice in the Pike and Eel marina on Sunday as permission has been sought and given, I was beginning to panic where we could go with a chance of fish because the Ouse is very out of sorts at the moment. It is odd how the fish shoal up in marinas at this time of year I assume it is because of the relatively protected nature of the environment, boats to hide under, colour in the water due to the boat movement and people keeping the black death away. This venue hosts our Xmas match each year and it will be nice to get a practice on the water as we usually end up fishing it blind on the Fur and Feather match day, although many would say the blindness is due to Compo's Sloe Gin which at 7 in the morning could poleaxe a Bear plus the scary sight of Compo in a Santa outfit which to be honest has seen better days, a bit like Compo really. Many's the river cruiser captain who has taken several double takes in seeing that on the bank hunched over his fishing rod a bit like a slightly working version of a garden gnome but grubbier, I blame the compost personally.      
 
 
Sunday 26th October, Bailey bridge Hemingford
 
In the future there will be points in your life when you will remember where you were when certain things happen, man landing on the moon, that wall in Germany falling over, John Lennons assassination etc etc. Now there is a further landmark to add to that list, god knows this hurts to write down let alone to say, Senior Andrews sister has won two on the trot. Sorry, I should have printed a warning prior to that announcement I realise that both my avid readers will have suffered a nose bleed at this point and will require medical assistance before reading on.
 
How did it happen, well firstly it rained,again, for 4 hours, God hates fishermen apparently and the fishing was dire. Compo was back at allotment towers before 11.00 having not had a bite. Small hook Malling and Breamy Ashcroft both recorded a "did not weigh" against their name. Apparently Small hooks family now think "DNW" are his initials as they have seen them next to his name so often.
 
Senior Andrews nicked a Chub of approx 1.5lbs from under Breamy's rod rest on a stick float much to Breamy's disgust, accusations flying at the end of the match with Breamy querying Senior Andrews parentage for some reason. Micks Chub plus a Perch weighed 1lb 11oz to give him the win. I, on the other hand, cheated and stayed on the other side of the river fishing just downstream of the bridge for second,again, with1lb 1oz, 10 fish and yes you guessed it mainly small. I only fished there because it was raining and I really could'nt be bothered to walk all that way in the wet. Will this failure to record a win never end.
 
Mick is unavailable next week so I might have a chance, theres a statement I never thought I would make.
 
The reason none of us fished above the bridge was due to a visiting club showing up from Rugby, they were catching "stuff all" as well and thats a long way to travel for diddely squat in your net.
 
As to this week, I have no idea where we are going at the moment. The river is clear and fishing badly, Hemingford was ok in the week but failed to perform on Sunday. The Ouse is not a good winter fishery unless there is colour and pace on the water. Some of the lads are out this week but I think the dreaded work will get in my way we will see. The other aspect now being the weather forecast, cold with frosts will not help one little bit.  
 
   
 
A bit even more extra than the last bit
 
Hemingford on Wednesday was interesting, Compo, due to senior status plus man flu for the last 12 months, apparently, took the best swim,again, next to the Bailey bridge, no one has fished the length for a while as there are very few visible swims to get into. I went 2 swims down and caught Dace and small Roach, but the river chucked through all morning and that slowed sport quite considerably
 
Compo, in prime position, could'nt be bothered to put in his keepnet and used his clicker which recorded 43 fish by 1.00 clock ish. Several Perch to 8oz and Roach to neally the same size, seed did not work at all and all fish were to maggot. I moved up to Compo's swim when he left and caught 15 Perch to 1lb on chopped worm and feeder in 2 hours. Small hook Malling turned up to fish at 2.00 and struggled further down the match length. We are on Bailey bridge Sunday so it will be interesting to see who catches, if any, and where, the match is going to be a rover and I know a couple of the guys fancy fishing upstream rather than the traditional downstream of the bridge swims. I have a secret option which I shall refuse to divulge until the draw has taken place, this week will be my first win of the season I have a feeling in my bones, yeah right, if Mick wins again its all going on E Bay.     
 
 
Another one of those extra bits
 
I'm not sure that this is the right place for the next story BUT it is so ridiculus and yet funny at the same time. I spoke to Kevin"Mr Crabtree" Peacock the other day and he told me the following. Benwick Fishing club have recently had platforms fitted on the match stretch by the good works of the much maligned Environment Agency, apparently they are very very good and hopefully the same as those we are intending to place on our very own Dolphin Meadow, but I digress. The locals decided that as there were high banks behind the platforms they would cut out steps down to the swims and place a good sized concrete slab on each step for stability etc.
 
At this point the increasingly famous double act, Ealth and Safety turned up and, wait for it,noted that IF steps were cut in the bank to facilitate anglers getting to the newly installed platforms they would require guide rails on both sides, I'm just surprised they did'nt insist on the installation of Stannah stair lifts in each swim. So in summary, if you don't have steps and people fall over and in the water thats ok if you do have steps to stop people falling over you have to have guide rails as well, priceless if it was'nt so stupid.
 
You could'nt make it up if you tried    
 
Sunday 20th October Ivo Lake
 
Oh woe is me, turn off the lights and shut the shutters let me retreat to a small dark room and gently weep, Senior Andrews sister has won a match and I still have'nt this season. In my defence he had the prime peg and in his defence he caught 9lb 5oz of small stuff beating me to second as I had 5lb 8oz of nice Roach but there is a story to this match
 
First Mr Happy Mcgregor the previous lake winner drew the corner peg and moaned and moaned and wandered about and moaned, he then realised he could stand behind all of us in rotation and moan some more, Compo then noticed a Grebe in Moaners swim that managed to catch more than he did in 5 minutes and then flew away. Compo had a few then felt the call of the allotment and left to shovel manure, a job he seems naturally suited to.
 
However the real issue was a second bout of world war 3 going on in the field behind us, this time it was personal, the rabbits had obviously been out and bought retalitory hard ware. We were ok until the second airstrike and Compo started getting the Nam flashbacks it is disconcerting to see a rabbit in a full flak jacket and carrying an Uzzi 9 millimetre, yeah okay I know it was clay pigeons because nothing is that hard to kill but it had a major effect on the fishing. My Roach who by this stage was a bite a chuck decided war was not for them and migrated rapidly to the other side of the pit.
 
We were actually aware that peg 2 is the winning peg, it must be if the all singing all dancing Andrews can win from it, so we split the peg with Breamy Ashcroft on one side refusing to fish for "small stuff" as he put it. Note, small stuff to Paul are fish below 6lb. Small hook Malling was 3rd with 3lb 6oz and managed to fuse his pole together, an interesting drive home for Jon I would think as the pole was just far enough out of the passenger window to take the head off any unsuspecting pedestrian.
 
During the set up period I also managed to slice my hand open on a can of Hemp and bled profusely for 4 hours and then managed to insert my float rod line into the cut when packing up and started it up all over again, blood loss and Mick winning not a good combination. 
 
So congratulations to Mick, he told me I was'nt to take the urine because it was'nt fair and he would tell his mum plus it was his ball and he would take it home if he could'nt be captain, so there you go Mick glory in this weeks bragging rights and well played sir
 
A few of us are venturing down to Baileys Bridge at Hemingford this week to see if the annual winter Roach migration has begun, this is much like the Wilderbeeste on the Sarangetty but firstly you can't see anything happening and secondly they are fish. We intend to fish one or two matches on the river stretch starting this week.            
 
Sunday 12th October "A" Section
 
Its very rare that I miss a Sunday morning but as noted earlier this week I stayed away due to other committments. Being a dutiful Club Secretary I walked up to see how the lads were doing about 11.30 and found Mick Andrews with one wader and one bare foot fishing opposite Nobles. The sad story being that 4 had turned up and the fished a rover match with Mick getting peg 18 and gleefully expecting to fill his boots, or in this case, boot and with water not fish. Not a bite to be had apparently, I had timed my "no show" to perfection, Compo slaughtered the opposition with 13oz yes I said ounces, second was the Bream basher Ashcroft with 8oz, mainly small fish and third with 1 Perch for 3 oz Glen "Carp man" Smettum.
 
In fairness, the big meadow struggles at this time of year unless there is a flood and lots of colour, great fishery that it can be we do tend to move to other waters until we can fish in Jone's Marina in late November early December.The water on Sunday was gin clear and with sunny sky's chances of catching were low and hence the weights.
 
This week we are trying to get another go in the Ivo lake for Sunday but if this cannot happen for whatever reason we are intending to fish Bailey's Bridge at Hemingford Abbott's. This is an excellent winter fishery and the Roach start to shoal around the bridge once the weather gets colder. Several matches are transfered to this venue every year around this time as our own rivers performance drops away. Last season 5/6 members fished this venue on several occasions and weights up to 13lb's were recorded. Mick Andrews even won a match here last year and has recorded a victory this season as well on the venue, still now proper anglers are involved we will burst that bubble fairly quickly, only joking Mick, I could'nt win a match with just me in it at the moment.
 
Last time at Hemingford catches were mainly Roach and Chublet but Bream have been caught this season when colour was in the water, day tickets are £2 and represent good value for money. Beware the Pike because they follow the Roach shoals and are there in force some days
 
      
An Extra bit
 
Spoke to Compo post the apocalypse of last Sunday, Tony Mac won with 10lbs plus, an outstanding performance on the day, compo managed 2nd with just over 2lb but the results really do not portray a fair reflection of the lakes potential, so we might do it again when the weather is less than the nasties of last week.
 
Compo and myself had a go opposite Nobles field on Wednesday and he managed 4 Bream and I did'nt, suffice to say the Bream are not shoaled up yet and we both agreed that they usually don't shoal until after Xmas, the water was nicely coloured with a good stream but a very bright day did'nt help. The guys who are fishing on Sunday are on "A" section for the Arthur Wallace memorial Cup, I shall be on other duties so I will be relying on my roving reporter,Mick, to give me the low down on what happens.    
 
Sunday 5th Oct Ivo lake
 
You know the stories that begin "it was a dark and stormy night" well Sunday morning started dim and damp, BUT, the gentle breeze was at our backs on the spit of the lake that we were fishing. 9 fished and the best that can be said is that no one died or at least at the last count I don't think anyone died.
 
Precisely 30 minutes after we started the wind turned completely and with it came torrential and I do mean torrential rain in our faces and it got cold, dowe to 9% is fine if a chill Northerly is not cutting you in half but this was everything I hate about the British weather. 2 hours later i was shivering and unable to see as my glasses had not been fitted with a pair of high volicity windscreen wipers to clear the monsoon that was coming in horizontally to my facial area, Oh how we laughed this was such fun. By 11.00 6 of the 9 idiots, sorry I mean intrepid anglers had left and, I have to admit, one of them was me and I never leave early.
 
This was such a shame, I had really looked forward to this match and had a few hours in the lake on Wednesday and had a fish a chuck for about 12lb in 4 hours. So, because of my retreating with a very wet tail firmly between my legs I do not know who won but would hazard a guess that it was Tony Mcgregor who had managed about 5lb on waggler and as Compo and Paul "Breamy" Ashcroft where the only others left I think Mac for winner is a fair bet.
 
So, what were the highlights apart from going home, well, the Andrews sisters turned up, Grant was moaning that his very expensive mobile phone was ruined as it had got soaked inside his water proof jacket pocket, I assume the message being spend more money on the coat and less on the phone Grant. Mick was next to me and Compo further round, at the point that the Clay Pidgeon shoot started just behind us Compo was heard to ask why Mick was making all that noise and thought he was trying to hammer his umbrella into the ground I pointed out that if MIck had hit his umbrella that many times it would now look like a small mushroom which he would struggle to dig his way under. I told Compo it was shot guns firing and Compo noted that nothing takes that many shots to kill, I think the principle of clay pidgeons has passed him by.
 
Next week will be a mystery tour as I shall not be attending, not, I hasten to add due to last weeks disaster. As I write the water on the Quay is rising and a lovely murky brown, who knows it might be Bream time on the river again  
 
 
Sunday 28th Sept Anderson Cuo Meadow lane
 
Embarassing, St Ives AS match men are holding their heads in shame after Sunday. The first 3 anglers were all non match men from Steve Anderson's friends in Sundays match on the lane. Aside from the shame of it all it was good to see a good number of Roach nets and although the fish are not yet in the 8 to 10oz standard they are growing and as long as the Comorant stay off the match length the quality can only get better.
 
The winner was Andy Frear with a lovely net of tare caught Roach from the "sleeper" swim of 12lb 13oz which blew all opposition a long way away. Second was Nigel Pankhurst with a Wheat caught 7lb 7oz and Glen Smettum third with a maggot caught 7lb 4oz which were mainly Roach as well. I managed 4th with 5lb 10oz of smallish Roach from peg 1.
 
10 fished and an inquest will take place both on the failure of the Andrews sisters to turn up and the failure of the ones, from the match anglers, who did turn up to catch any fish. Beaten by the speciman boys in our own backyard, its a disgrace.
 
The cup was presented on the bank by Steve Anderson and the club will donate £100 in his grandfathers memory to prizes for the childrens matches next year. The club has had the Anderson cup re gilded, as it is the only cup which we still present on the bank, and all agreed that the work on the cup was well worth the cost.
 
Interesting how these things turn out, we have a chance to redeem ourselves this Sunday with a rare venture into still waters, Sunday 5th Octobers venue is the Ivo lake at the St Ives Lake complex draw at 7 fish 8 until 1. We will meet in the lake carpark area which is the same entrance as used to access the Meadow Lane stretch.
 
I watched an angler pleasure fishing in the lake saturday afternoon and he was catching 4 to 6oz Roach and Rudd every cast, so once again the excitment mounts no doubt to be dashed by either the weather, Cormorants, earthquakes or Compo drawing yet another plum draw and walking away with the money to fund his Cigars for another week, because he is a pensioner now and money's tight, yeah right I don't think so.              
 
Sunday 21st Sept Club match A section
 
Great weather lovely flow and colour in the river but of course we wanted overcast so that the bream would feed. Compo is beginning to annoy me and this week he annoyed Paul Ashcroft even more. Peg 11 and Hemp and Wheat combined to produce 16lb 12oz of good Roach from a river without any Roach in it, what were the odds that would happen, it was a Mr Crabtree start with mist on the water BUT no Bream anywhere, 5 fished small hook Malling a no show due to "can't get out of beditus". Pegs 11 and 12 had Compo with lots and  Breamy Ashcroft with 5lb 9oz next to the great composter, so Paul a good slapping there and loss of bragging rights in the Pub Friday night.
 
I was on a good peg opposite Nobles with the Chuckle brothers, Father and son, Grant and Mick Andrews, I had a lovely Perch of approximately 2lb 8oz plus 1 Bream of 2lb 8oz another 1lb Skimmer and lots and lots of brand new baby skimmers, great to see, as long as they survive the black death next year could be really good for silver fish again. I weighed 8lb 12.5 oz for second in the match with Mick being seen off by his son 5lb 7oz to a paltry and very sad effort of 3lb 14oz for Mick. Yet another next peg drubbing for Andrews senior only this time it was from both sides. 
 
Next week is the Andersons cup on Meadow Lane, this match always has a good turn out in memory of Steve Andersons granddad, Steve usually brings 7 or 8 to fish and we will match that so 16 on the bank is a good match these days at least on a river it is. I hope the river retains some colour because the Lane does fish well and Bream could be caught if we have some flow and colour.
 
As a last thought for both of the readers of this rubbish, the date for the Ivo lake match is 5th October and is hopefully going to prove very interesting at the least. 
 
I have also been asked to add a story from the recent childrens fishing match and 2 of our committee members, Pete Milburn was watching Joe Parker fish, why Joe was fishing in the middle of a childrens match, God only knows, perhaps he thought it was one he might win. However, Pete stood behing Joe watching him fish when Pete calmly asked Joe if he had any forceps he could borrow, Joe said no thinking Pete needed them for the kids match and turned to see Pete standing with 2 worms and a maggot dangling from his left nostril where Joe had hooked him on his cast out. These people are some of the decision makers for the club, its frightening isn't it.              
 
Sunday 14th Club match B section
 
Its amazing isn't it, we got all excited, chocolate coloured water good flow, fining down after a flood, warm weather it all screamed Bream especially after the Teams of 4 results. So what happens, diddely squat thats what, Duncan Ray, fresh from his National Division 1 runners up spot, a truly great performance from an angler who usually cannot spell Bream let alone catch nearly 50 lb in a match. However, all of a sudden Duncan is the man, 4 Bream of a smallish nature for 8lb 7oz and the win on Sunday from the sanatogen revived Compo with 7lb 11oz on feeder in the bay, I managed 3rd with 7lb 5oz, of stick float caught skimmers Roach and Dace up to 4oz, if only I had not wasted nearly 2 hours on the tip, BUT,we were all going to catch Bream and we did'nt, bright Blue sky certainly did not help but they were just not feeding. I suppose thats the beauty of match fishing and fishing in general, you just never know.
 
The mighty Mick Andrews was miles behind me with 7lb 4.5oz, and despite trying to will the scales to record the extra half ounce, then attempting to bribe the weigher he had to accept defeat, I would like to record that I was gratious in victory as was Mick in defeat, but I would be lying, to the victor the spoils and another week of defeat faces the mighty Mick, I'm so upset for him.
 
Other points of note on the day was the minutes silence for the passing of the last vestage of Jon Mallings fishing ability, he drew peg 1, last weeks winning peg, and recorded 3lb 2oz, the upside of this being that it can only get better.
 
The great Ashcroft also failed miserably and bleated about lack of water despite being pegged next to the winner, the "Bream from a puddle" tag not holding any water this week.
 
It was also good to see the lessor spotted Andrews on the bank again, drawn opposite the rowing club he had a fine time with the newly spawned junior rowers on the river for the first time with no sense of direction and even less consideration for anglers than the senior members. I'm sure Grant must have welcomed the poor little things into his keepnet at least 5 times during the morning as the smile for the good draw slowly became a rictus grin. One of these wandered, no, miandered past us 6 times reversed ,stopped, lost his way, lost his footing apologised several times noted he had no control over his boat and Compo and myself just shook our heads and said nothing, this newly fledged rower was 60 if he was a day and I assume would get lost going home after all a river only goes one way, either upriver or downriver and this bloke seemed intent on a side to side row which pretty much defeats the object due to the relatively short nature of the water in question, L plates for rowers a growth industry I think.  
 
Next week, back on A section, as to what to expect, god knows, I've given up on this its going to fish its head off thing, suffice to say we will be there and we shall see on the day. Another trip to the Ivo lake is planned for Wednesday, for those among us without a proper job, hopefully the water will have drained out of the complex and a truer view of the lakes potential will take place.                 
 
 
Ivo Lake, Meadow Lane Complex Thurs 11th
 
Compo, Mr Crabtree and myself fished the Ivo lake by kind invitation of Gordy Howes, the owner. with a view to seeing what was in there because the Carp boys are not interested but there had been a bit of feed back saying shed loads of Roach Rudd and Hybreds were being caught from the lake plus it holds big Bream, Tench and 30 odd biggish Carp as well.
 
Well. first thing we noticed was that it was all underwater, the recent floods plus a major pumping exercise by the new guided bus route builders had put 4 foot on the normal lake levels, so, good start then.
 
Intrepid as us match men are, plus we sit or stand in water most weeks, I got there first and nicked the closest swim to dry land, no fish for an hour was a bit of a worry but after that it was a steady run of Rudd the odd Roach and Hybred in my swim and mainly Roach plus the odd hybred in Compo's who was about 5 yards away. Mr Crabtree aka Kevin Peacock turned up late due to blood extraction at the Doc's, it was noted that we were amazed they found any, something to do with blood and stones apparently. He than returned home to get his waders as Friday the water was at normal level or at least that was his excuse for not bringing them.
 
Crabtree and pipe ventured further along the underwater spit and caught Roach,hybreds the odd Rudd and 2 proper Bream, I managed 1 proper Bream on sweetcorn and I would think we had 30lb between us which considering the conditions was a good result.
 
Hopefully the club will be able to use the lake for the odd match and I firmly believe that when at normal levels the fishing could be very good which is a bit odd because large amounts of Cormorant live nearby and do not seem to fish the lake despite its, obviously large, silver fish population. 
 
Today,Friday, the water is dropping,highly coloured and still reasonably fast flowing on the river, Sunday is Bream time methinks, watch this space           
 
Teams of four, Dolphin Meadow 7th September
 
I am constantly amazed at the difference that comes over our river once it floods, by rights no one should have caught anything on Sunday, the river rose 5 inches in 5 hours and was chocolate coloured plus if you could have stood still on its surface you would have been the equivalent of water skiing, (yes, it was moving very very fast) the water was that inhospitable it even managed to deter the scourge of river anglers, the rowers.
 
The fishing however in the first 3 hours was good, Tony Watling jnr won the match with 30lb plus, with Tony McGregor second with 19lb, Bream love colour in the water and in our water they appear to love pace in it as well.
 
9 teams of 4 fished with Stanjay 'White'  winning and our very own St Ives 'B' in second place, so through gritted teeth congratulations to Mick and Grant Andrews, Jon"run out of worms" Malling and Tony Macgregor, although the draw was very kind to them and despite Mick catching 1lb of bits from the bay area, I, of course, was in St Ives A and with Paul Ashcroft drew well in the bay as well, Paul managed a good Tench and Rudd for 10lb plus and I had 3 Bream and a superb Rudd of 2lb 7oz for 14lb 10oz and 5th overall, the top 3 weights were pegged from the Dolphin marina down and of course were all in my section, 4th in section and 5th in match sums up the year really.
 
However on the plus side destroyed Mick yet again and who wants money anyway, its bragging rights for the following week that count.          
 
The match was very difficult for many and the top of the Meadow on A section, where the river is narrow, was very difficult and got worse as the day progressed. Kevin Peacock, in my team, was on peg 12, a very good swim in normal circumstances, and he never had a bite in 5 hours and he is a good angler.
 
As I write lots of rain is forecast before next weekend but we are on the Meadow on Sunday and if (and I do mean if) the water is not to bad we could be on a shedful.
 
This week a few of us are trying one of the lakes in the Meadow Lane complex, Gordon Howes, who currently leases the lakes wants us to match fish the Ivo and hopefully 3 will fish this Thursday before scheduling a match on the lake in the next few weeks. Gordon has said the lake is full of Roach Rudd and hybreds plus big Bream and big Tench so we will see.     
 

Teams of 4 practice open, Dolphin Meadow Aug 31st

 

Note to self, last entry in previous inane ramble, drawing badly and YES I will moan, Peg 3 high bank not even a remote chance of anything, I was next to Jon Hazeldon who is a very good Hotrods angler and he did not weigh, I managed 4lb odd for 2nd in section primarily due to a short sighted Bream and a few bits but hay ho. Anyway, to the winners arena and who do we find but the newly retired Compo AKA Colin Leach with nearly 13lb from a swim we never normally peg in our matches which, I suppose, just goes to show we know nothing. A Tench,one proper Chub 2 big Eels with good back up from Perch, Skimmers and Chublets, that would be mainly Worm then, Well done Colin. I assume his car had broken down because he did'nt visit his allotment once during the whole 5 hours.

 

Kye Jerrom was second with nearly 10lb of mainly small stuff, Kye proving that some EA employees are in contact with the river at a basic level. In his case a very basic level as he is smaller than our very own vertically challenged Ray Myring,

 

Stan "The man" Binge having drawn a flyer on peg 1 emptied it for a while, lost his way in the last 2 hours and managed 6lb plus with a couple of big worm Perch and bits

 

Finally a mention for Mick Andrews who walked the banks looking for inspiration for next week, 5 hours and he, and I quote, "learnt a lot". Personally, I think he was scared of getting beat and Colin thinks he was to tight to pay the £15, only joking Mick no one can stay scared for that long and we all know that white fivers and threepenny bits are no longer legal tender.

 

So, on to next week the HAJAC teams of 4, our premier match on the St Ives waters, unfortunately due to poor timing many of our local matchmen are at the National on Saturday which I am led to believe is somewhere near Cornwall. Comments have been made that dates were available so that no conflict was necessary but we do not organise this one HAJAC do. The current thinking is possibly 6 teams which is a shame as in recent history this match has attracted 14 teams and utilised all of our sections.

 

However we shall see, can Compo repeat the dose( hope so, he's in my team) can Mick apply his newly found knowledge and can I draw a swim even worse than Peg 3, watch this space its better than Hollyoaks. 

 

Stan da Man                                                 Colin struggles with yet another one

 

 

 

Kye


I thought I would add a few thoughts now that the season had kicked off. Firstly it is interesting to see the amount of Bream being caught from the Dolphin Meadow this year. The latest Thursday evening match has been switched to "A" section to see if fishing into dusk helps catch rates so watch this space.
 
The usual suspects have started the season well with Paul Ashcroft taking the honours on the first day and the first Thursday evening match on "C" section. Colin Leach showing that the sanatogen cocktails still keep him awake long enough to slaughter the rest of the field in the first Sunday outing. I now realise that a "couple" of Bream really means at least 8 or his counting is really that bad.
 
On a personal note, I am having a nightmare much to Mick Andrews amusement and I will shortly be placing my keepnets on E bay in the "as new" column. 
 
We are fishing Meadow Lane on Sunday and having had a practice on the venue this week I can confirm that there are lots of small fish and the pegs are very fair, I expect the winner to need 8lb to 10lb for the win but as usual we shall see.
 
Thursday 26th evening match was on "A" section with only 3 fishing due to certain members next day beer run to France, Colin and others just not bothering to show because of the rain, Mick and yes, working is an excuse. Blimey it rained and Ray Myring did not get any taller despite getting wet, I caught a bona fid Chub of 3lbs plus but Mr Ashcroft was pleasure fishing in peg 11 and had 3 large bream and bits for 14lb plus I had about 4lb and framed at last, but only due to 3 fishing no need to say it I know.

Sunday Meadow Lane the venue and we all know what practice makes, well in this case far from perfect. It was horrible, the winner J Maling recorded the princely weight of 1lb 11oz with yours truly drawing with young Tom Myring with 1lb 6oz in second, and yes he did beat his Grand dad, the good thing was 8 fished the bad thing being where oh where had all the fish gone from our visit on the Wednesday. 

 

So 2 frames in 2 matches normal service is slowly being resumed and Mick Andrews did not want to weigh Sunday enough said.


Thursday 3rd Julys evening match was opposite Nobles field with 2 pegs on the fabled stake swims, 6 fished, Paul Ashcroft is monopolising the Thursday series at the moment and his 2 big Tench plus bits was more than enough to see my 2 Bream and 1 big Perch plus a couple of other bits off. To be honest the light values were so bright the Bream were never going to feed until it dropped as the sun went down and I had both my Bream and lost another between 9 and 9.30. Ray Myring managed to catch an Eel that was then attacked by a Zander of about 6lb and he landed both which I'm sure livened his night up considerably. Paul had bites on the tip all the way through but struggled with a lot of weed in front of him as we did in the stake swims.

 

Sunday is the first venture of the season onto "B" section, rakes for the weed will be required and here's hoping for some low light values so that the Bream will show. 


Sunday was another re run of the Paul Ashcroft show, in fact if I did'nt know better I would swear that the 2 Tench he caught were the same 2 Tench he had on Thursday. Paul is in one of those rich veins of drawing pegs out of the hat form that you can get every now and then, but as Colin Leach said on Sunday could'nt happen to a nicer man, I think he said that anyway because he was under Paul's car at the time with a saw in his hand and his voice was a bit muffled by the sawing noise. Colin managed a Tench and lost a life and death struggle with a huge Eel that, by the time he had repeated the story 4 times, was approximately 12 feet long and capable of eating reasonably large children, luckily Ray Myring was'nt fishing. I struggled to 3rd with 2lb 10oz and I cannot buy a win, still another day another dollar Thursday is on "A" section and I am taking a harpoon and a trawl net as desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

This week was unusual in that we did not have a Sunday match due to hols and parties the night before, the Thursday match was won by, you guessed it, P Ashcroft who ,once again on the best swim on Nobles Field, caught a couple of big Tench and lost 3 others in weed which is quite a feat, if you see Pauls gear you will know what I mean, delicate it isn't. Colin had a Tench and a couple of small Bream for second and I , having drawn the usual nowhere near the big fish peg, had 3lbs of small Perch on feeder for 3rd.

 

Thursday July 17th was very slow Colin Leach had put a curse on Paul Ashcroft which was well worth the money as Paul managed 7oz with Colin catching one 5lb Tench and a couple of bits for the win with 5lb 12oz I managed second with 1lb 1oz from a prime draw which only goes to prove that its the fishes fault, they just don't like me, as you may have noticed I have now gone beyond straw grabbing in my quest to find out where I am going wrong.

 

Sunday July 20th

We trailed down to "D" Section and it all looked horrible, clear shallow water, no cut out swims, downstream wind and various undesirables camping all over it. We took an executive decision and ended up at Meadow Lane. 6 fished and John Malling recorded his 2nd win on the Lane this year with 7lb 4oz of small Chub, Perch Dace, Bleak and yes even some Roach, Tony McGregor out for the first time this season managed 2nd with a big skimmer  and bits for 6lb 9oz and Paul Ashcroft was 3rd with 3lb 11oz, the curse is still working although possibly back firing as Colin came last packing up early and muttering about going to dig up his allotment as it was better than catching Bleak I did not fair much better in the next peg but I did catch at least 30 Roach which considering I weighed 2lb 14oz in total meant they were mainly small. Finally, for the time being, Mick Andrews returned from the foreign hols looking like Michael Winner but without the money and was very happy to have beaten me once again, nets going back on E Bay and bird watching is looking a good option            

 

Thursday Night Match A Section July 24th

 

A Good turn out, 4 fished opposite Nobles field, the odd man out Mr Myring fancied chancing his arm in Peg 1. Had the fortunmate Mr McGregor not hooked a slab late on no doubt that Ray may well have one the nights proceedings. Final places Tony Mac 6 pound odd, Ray second with 3 pound odd. The rest also rans with ounces.

 

Sunday July 27th Hemingford Abbotts Bailey Bridge.

 

Can' t help but gloat somewhat, given that when I rang Paul Ashcroft to ask where we should fish on Sunday, as none of the section gate keys were available, I said we should fish at Hemingford, Paul wanted to go to Pidley for a spot of carp bashing, he must be bored winning.

 

Anyhow off we trot with a latecomer " Jon Maling" switching his plans, excited by the prospect of a few roach on the long pole.

 

Good job we got there early for parking as a few Anglers from Enfield (15) had booked the water above the bridge. So confined to a few pegs below the bridge and expecting to fish close, I told the others to forget the pools money even though we had exchanged fivers and we would just fish a pleasure day, wrong move.

 

Chris would have been proud of me as I took till about 8:30 just to get going. Anyway between 9 and 10:30 I had 3 Bream 4 chub and the odd perch for 11lbs 12oz fishing the far bank with a waggler, Jon Maling about a pound and a half with PH embarrassed and DNW off the next peg to me, with distinct moaning "we shouda gone to Pidley"

 

Still Chris least I have won a match and before you say it yes CL, TM and CG weren't there but still. 

 

Hello everyone, back from sunny Cyprus and first order of business is to say thanks to Mick for treating you to fancy blue dates and poor spelling, still, GCSE Needlework ungraded was never going to help him much on this page was it. Seriously thanks Mick for the effort.

 

Now to matters piscatorial, last Thursday saw the completion of the Coote Cup series with Paul Ashcroft the run away winner despite curses, voodoo and car tampering. Well done Paul

 

Attendance for matches have been down due to holidays and other committments so only 4 were in attendance on Sunday with "A" Section the venue. Colin Leach must now have the best dug allotment in the UK as he once again went home early despite having first choice of swim in a "rover" match.

 

Yet again Paul Ashcroft found his usual 5lb Bream plus a few good Perch small Chub and angry Eel ( Paul, the girly screams every time you hook one of these slimey snakes have got to go) for 10lb 1oz. Second was Ray Myring with a couple of rarities firstly some Roach on Wheat, not many and all fairly small but Roach on seed none the less. plus a Tench of 4lbs plus on Wheat which from the river is a first for me to have witnessed let alone caught. Ray finished with 7lbs 1oz and grandson Tom managed a DNW, I think that leaves Colin last with several pounds of Onions, I really must review what constitutes a fish according to club rules with Colin.

 

Sunday is Meadow Lane so I assume Jon Malling will be in attendance as he is 2 for 2 on that section this year. I will have removed the dust from the gear and will be drawing my usual swim which will be on the bad side of poor if this years current record of drawing badly is to be maintained. Still I look forward to beating Mick and renewing Pauls curse plus looking at Colins pictures of various vegetables from his allotment now having grown to mountanous proportions due to the amount of time he spends there.  

 

A bit of info for those who might want it, many readers( sorry, both readers) of these reports will be aware of the lack of Roach this season in the river matches. Ray Myring as per the report above had some on Wheat for the first time on Sunday from peg 1 at the top of "A" section on the Dolphin Meadow. I fished for 3 hours on Thursday afternoon and had approx 8lb of Roach on Wheat, feeding hemp and fishing a 9 metre whip from the same swim, mainly small 2 to 3 oz fish with the odd 4/5 oz all of which were in pristine condition and obviously young uncaught fish. I would also add that for those who could stand the people, ducks, swans, boats, idiots, drunks etc etc the quay has a large shoal of Bream feeding so it seems every day on the bread as it falls under the aforesaid Ducks and Swans. I today(8th Aug) witnessed one young man catching a 4lb Bream on a worm which he was dragging back through the water at speed apparently after Perch. Several carp are also feeding on the Quay early and late. Isn't it nice when a guy who wanted some Roach for Piking keeps moaning that the 5lb Bream will not leave his Bread alone (that was Monday and he had landed 7 by lunch time)

 

Sunday 10th Meadow Lane the venue, 6 fished with some away on hols MG rally's etc.Our very own Compo, the newly retired Mr Leach drew peg1 and decided we needed a new peg one, venturing further towards the old bridge he cut his own swim and proceeded to find 5 Bream, Eels and Perch in a weedy swim for 14lb 10oz, I managed second from the "sleeper" swim on the striaght with mainly small skimmers plus an evil looking Eel that tried to eat me and a few Perch on worm feeder for 7lb 12oz and did it blow a gale or what, lost the hat several times plus bait top lid is now being hailed as an UFO over Needingworth.  Ashcroft as usual found 2 big skimmers in a swim where they have not been seen all year for 6lb 11oz ( local conspiracy theory is now that he does bring them with him) and the mighty Mick Andrews had a good 5lb plus of Wheat caught Roach.

 

The lesser spotted Grant Andrews,rarely seen in daylight hours, son of the aforesaid mighty Mick turned up and in the best swim failed impressively with 2lb, its a family thing. Jon Malling also observed a minutes silence for the loss of his 100% Maedow Lane record.

 

I am away in Ireland for the next couple of weeks to watch other people catch Bream so, you might suffer the spelling of the Mickmaister, who I completely whupped as forecast on Sunday, until my return.

 

Back from sunny Ireland, 28,000 acres of water rose 18 inches in 1 week,HOW MUCH RAIN WAS THAT, current water levels are 6ft above summer norms, 4 of the St Ives crew ventured forth and we all returned. Best moment was Colin Leach not realising why the soap in the hotel would not lather until he noticed it was covered in plastic, priceless.

 

This Sunday is the start of the two big matches in our calender, firstly, the teams of four practice open on the Dolphin Meadow. draw 8.30 fish 10 to 3 register with either me on 01480 463193 or Fizz at Stanjays shop in Godmanchester. Stanjays fished 12 on the meadow last Sunday, the winner had 10lb plus of Roach (yes, Roach) chublets Dace Bleak and Perch.

 

The following week is the teams of four proper which is run by HAJAC, St Ives are fielding 2 teams for the first time for many years. Hopefully a good turn out with all sections of the St Ives river in play. Exciting times but as always the important things never change (see list below)

 

Mick Andrews takes 2 hours to set up and 2 more to clear up

 

Paul Ashcroft will catch a Bream even in a puddle

 

Colin Leach, now Compo, will visit his allotment at some point during any fishing match

 

Ray Myring cannot see over long grass

 

Kevin Peacock will always look like Mr Crabtree when he has lit his pipe

 

Grant Andrews is unable to consume 15 pints and get up on a Sunday morning

 

Jon Malling does not posess a big hook

 

I will draw a rubbish swim and moan about it on this website.

   

Chris Geeson