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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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A Senior Captain Slow Sicknote bit
 
This will please Mick because I said I would not bother with it but ever the soft touch this is his moment in the sun. Odd rules regarding what constitutes still water at the EA and the fact that the boats have been delayed going in by a week at Jones meant we got one last go on the Spit Wednesday 17th.
 
4 fished, Middle Earth Sam, Compo,me and Senior. Middle Earth Sam was on tenterhooks as he was about to become the proud owner of a grandchild and this  obviously affected his performance as he recorded one Perch and a lost Tench for the day. Compo, on the other hand went out of the season well with 6 good Tench for around 25lb.
 
I sat next to the eternally ill one, plus his full time medical team, and had 39lb 15oz with 6 Tench 1 slab and 5 good Perch up to 2lb for a very enjoyable last day BUT the hero of the day with 40lb 10oz and the win, although we had no money on it which is always when Mick wins, was Senior Slow with 8 Tench one of which was well over 6lb and pulled Mick's string considerably. Despite the Tench the real fish of the day were  2 of the 3 Perch that Mick had with the smaller of the two at 3lb and the bigger one at 3lb 7oz I think I will wait a long time to see a better brace of Perch caught locally.
 
Mick has suffered manfully over the last few weeks usually sitting next to the winner or worse between 1st and 2nd man and has had to take the "friendly" banter that goes with match anglers. So it was good to see that the last knockings have convinced him not to hang up his boots or sulk like a little girl, at least until next time it happens, ha ha.
 
Now that really is it until warmer times with the exception of the AGM which will be posted in due course   
 
 
 
Thursday, Friday and Sunday
 
As they say in show business we had a big finish. I will show all the results and just pick out one or two highlights or I will be on here all day.
 
Thursday 12th Staffords Bridge- 4 fished
 
1. The Geesemaister 9lb 15oz
2. Breamy                 9lb 0oz
3. DNW                     6lb 10oz
4 Compo                   Went home early before passport control found out he had crossed the border ar Warboys 
 
Lots of smallish Roach and lots of big Pike, scary stuff
 
Friday 13th The Spit- 6 fished 
 
1  The Geesemaister 30lb 0oz- 5 Tench 3 Perch
2  Breamy                20lb 2oz- 4 Tench 2 Perch
3  Middle Earth Sam  12lb 10oz-2 Tench 2 Perch
4  Senior Sick Note    8lb 8oz - 2 Tench
 
DNW had the bad draw and left, Compo had a good draw between me and Breamy and failed to register a bite, something about using some form of bait next time. My 3 Perch weighed 7lb 7oz and Sam's 2 weighed 5lb 1oz, magnificent fish
 
Sunday 14th March the Spit
  
1. Breamy 29lb 2oz- 5 Tench 3 Bream
2. The Geesemaister  26lb 10oz- 4 Tench 2 Bream
3. Compo  10lb 4oz- 2 Tench 1 Perch
 
The mighty Andrews sat between Breamy and me, had 1 Perch lost 2 Tench missed several others and caught a genuine tree fish which gave him a classic Tench bite, apparently, lots of noise about "hanging up his boots" and "its not right" plus " why me" and so on.
 
So all in all a good finish, the mild weather turned up a couple of weeks too late but never mind at least we got to fish without gloves on for a couple of days and Breamy stripped down to his 7th layer thermals on one day, only another 8 to go and he would still have more clothes on than the rest of us.
 
As usual things will now go into hibernation whilst some cleaning of gear and collecting of breath gose on readying  for the next season. I presume the odd journey into the world of the commercial will occur and I am sure some of the more funny episodes will end up on here. For now thats another season done a big thankyou to all the participants, willing and, mainly, unwilling you are all legends in your own lunchtimes.
 
Final note the AGM will happen late April, date to be decided, but it will be posted on here when it is agree
 
 
 
Sunday 8th March The Spit
 
It is fairly obvious to all that we are not going to get a mild spell before the end of June let alone before this season finishes next Sunday. This week it was cold in fact somewhere in the colder than cold catergory that usually has a very bad effect on the fishing. 3 idiots turned up Senior had to, he had the key, Breamy and me despite my car not starting and a lot of messing about we finally started at 8.45 with some hope but not much more than the usual amount.
 
Firstly it warmed up very quickly with the sun that much higher in the sky there was some real warmth to it, thank god , as the East wind was in our faces all morning and cold. The water was chocolate in colour but down to normal levels and I just had a feeling someone would catch, well, in the first hour I had a 3lb Bream and thought here we go, but we did'nt until Breamy had a Tench and then missed a couple of bites and then had another Tench by which stage I had had what I assume was several liners and I knew there were fish in the swim they just were not quite having it. Senior remained biteless and in fact much to his disgust remained biteless all day whilst me and the Breamy one had a few.
 
To sum up Breamy had 4 Tench and one cracking Perch of 2lb 10oz for 19lb 2oz and the 3 bites he missed cost him the money as I had 3 Tench 1 Bream and an equally magnificent Perch of 2lb 12oz in prime winter nick and full of food but what I could'nt even begin to guess for the princely sum of 20lb 12oz and that did not include a lost Tench at the net. So breamy missed 3 bites and I hooked all mine but lost one. I do not doubt that the next 2 hours would have been good as both mine and Breamy's floats were being moved a lot by fish in the swim in the last hour and they were just getting their heads down at the final whistle.  
 
Senior packed up early and sulked by the car until we got back with the usual mantra of "why me" and "why can't I get a bite" I said it was as Compo says "skill and breeding" and then hid behind the nearest tree until Senior's blood pressure dropped below steam levels.
 
Next week, its a big finish, DNW and Breamy have Thursday and Friday off as do I and of course we will be joined by the ever free to fish Compo and Senior for a series of sweepsteaks out in the fens on Thursday and then again on Friday with the last match being on the Spit on Sunday with the usual telephone book in procedures please.        
 
 
A Wednesday bit
 
Having watched the mighty Reds march on at Wembley I returned to the fishing with a mid week session with Compo and Senior starting at the Waits where after 5 minutes deliberation and the fact that Compo had been there 30 minutes without a bite meant we changed tack and ran off towards Benwick. Benwick is not easy for Senior as his defibrilation machine has to have an extension cord fitted from his house to ensure a flow of life giving current but we managed.
 
At Benwick I have never seen Compo move so fast since the buy one bag get one free offer came up at the national manure convention in 1873, as chronicled in Samuel Peypes famous compost corner diaries. He has a favourite swim and was in it like a rat up a drain, I had a walk round and checked out the area, made a phone call and then slowly sorted out the gear by which stage Compo had 10 fish in the net and Senior had just unlocked his car door.
 
Suffice to say it was cold but with little wind and sort of sunshine in the sky every now and then it was a good day and makes a complete mockery of our own fisheries this time of year. Compo recorded over 150 fish I had 120 and Mick had about the same as me. the quality is small with nothing over 4 oz but it is a bite most chucks and lets be honest having struggled through the winter (as we have) a float going under is a miracle and I spent the first 20 minutes wondering why my float keep sinking, eventually the strike reflex returned and for a few glorious hours we all caught just like the old days, this , by the way,it is free fishing as well.
 
I suspect Compo had 12lb me 10lb and Senior 9lbish, very enjoyable.
 
Sunday, well the fens are out for this week I think as there are matches all over it but with warmer days and cold nights which is the current forecast we will fish Jones one more time, I think, which side will depend on where the water is by Sunday. Usual stuff let me know if you are stupid enough to want to fish, next week several have the Thursday and Friday off due to it being the last week of the season proper and I think we will be going further a field into the drains for a couple of sweepstakes, as always time will tell.   
 
 
 
Thursday 25th Feb the Spit
 
We keep trying but it is not getting much easier, several things occurred out of the ordinary on Thursday, frstly, we had Senior Andrews with us, us being me and Compo, medivaced in by helicopter with full medical team in place plus all local hospitals on full alert BUT he was there. Secondly only one of us had bites,AND, for a change it was me. I had 1 Bream and 2 Tench plus 1 Pike all hooked properly and I did not miss a bite, come to that nor did the other two because they did'nt get one between them. Unbelieveable really 9 degrees overcast no frost for the last 2 nights we all though it would fish its preverables off and it did'nt.
 
The most memorable moment of the day Senior caught a Tench on feeder, yes I know I said he had no bites, but this one was dead about 2lb but not long dead. it never ceases to amaze me that after all these years I can still witness things for the first time and the headline has to be "nearly dead man catches totally dead fish" and despite having full medical crews on call and Senior shouting don't go near the light it was a truly dead Tench.
 
Now what worries me is that the dead Tench and my biggest Tench which was 6lbs plus both had a series of long lacerations across the tail which I assume must be repeated Cormorant attack. I wonder if the 2lb dead fish died from a combination of the injuries and shock but either way something has to be done by the Government and the EA about this awful state of affairs, our Roach population has all but gone in our river and Jones Marina once held indigenous Roach shoals of huge size and mature breeding fish, they have also been totall decimated by the Cormorant threat. The decline in Roach populations in the Ouse is terrible to see and more and more Cormorant are bleeding our river dry.
I am not a political animal but anyone who is willing to sort this mess out would get my vote and I suggest the time for action is now before we have no fish left in our Lakes and Rivers.
 
I personally nothing less than a full cull will suffice and even then it would take our rivers many years to recover.
 
RIGHT, thats enough politicalling for one week, Sunday Senior in a rush of blood has the key to the Spit and will fish it if the river does not rise to much, which I think it will, the other alternative is the Waits, I shall be watching the Carling Cup Final at Wembley so "go on you Reds" and we shall resume end of season angling next week          
 
 
 
Sunday 21st Feb Dolphin Meadow
 
4 fished, it snowed, lots of water rising as we fished, no bites , left early, Moaner got stuck and had to be towed not once but twice, nuff said.
 
Next Sunday, Wembly, football, Man U  v Villa, no fishing, thank god 
 
 
Met Office changes
 
It now appears that the worse case scenario is -2 over the next couple of nights with day times at 4 and 5 degrees, as I have stupidly brought bait I now have to go so its a toss up with the meadow or Jone's deeps and the water is rising as I type. Anyone wanting to fish Sunday ring me tonight or tomorrow and a decision will have been made. 
 
 
Its the end of the world bit
 
Fished with Compo between 10 and 3 on the spit Wednesday, no frosts for 2 nights, net result 1 bite for Compo none for me. I will move on to the reason for the title, Sunday, sorry lads I've had enough and will not be there, why, see list below
 
Night time temperature as per the Met office web site
 
Wednesday - 2 C
Thursday     - 2 C
Friday         - 3 C
Saturday     - 4 C
 
You are welcome to it, I'm done, if necessary until April, I'm just fed up with wearing 6 layers of clothes and still being cold, catching zero fish.
 
So, for anyone who wants to fish Sunday, organise it between you I will be firmly under the bed covers, oh and as an after thought the Met office say that Monday is heavy SNOW all day and night.
 
 
Sunday 14th Feb the venue varied
 
We started at the Pike and Eel marina with 5 fishing and failed to get a bite in the first hour between us and then on the basis of Middle Earth Sam catching some nice Perch Friday from the Deeps at Jones decided to move.
 
We fished on the platform which has been placed in the water at the deeps about 4 metres out and so you can fish 5/6 metres to hand without any shipping back, the platform is very stable and anchored into the bottom of the marina. It was a different world weather wise with no wind due to the trees and boats plus we were low to the water, just a shame it did'nt fish.
 
However, 4 of us relocated and Compo and El Goucho DNW, he even showed me a photo from his phone of him on a horse wearing a poncho and sombrero looking like an extra from a Clint Eastwood spagetti western, did not get a bite, Breamy had 5 Perch and missed another 10 and I had 3 Perch missed 1 and hooked and lost 3 more, but, I had the win huzzah at long last 3 Perch with 1 very good one in excess of 2.5lbs for about 4lb and the win over Breamy's 2lb of smaller versions.
 
We still are waiting for that warmer spell of weather which would kick the fishing off locally and bring the lesser spotted hibernating Senior Andrews Sister out of his medically cocooned nest. 
 
All in all still very hard work to catch anything around the St Ives river and as yet I have had no reports of any Bream catches in the river and this is usally the time of year they start to shoal up.
 
Next week I don't know yet, Compo and me are due to have a go Wednesday, but as usual I shall see what the weather is doing first. 
 
 
 
Next Sunday 14th Feb
 
Its just occurred to me that if you don't ask you don't get so I have got permission for the club to fish a match this Sunday at the Pike and Eel
marina. There are works going on at the venue and John the manager has requested that we do not drive onto the grass as it is very wet, so barrows are the order of the day gentlemen.
 
I have no idea if it is fishing but the Seal has been absent for the last 3 weeks apparently, this could mean there are no fish left or its gone out to sea to breed and bring even more of its cousins back for whats left of the dwindling fish population. However this venue does fish well for silver fish and may well be worth a go.
 
Usual stuff phone in and let me know you are coming, 7.20 for 7.30 draw fish 8.30 to 1.30 
 
 
Sunday 7th Feb The Spit
 
Thats it I have had enough, time to move on to things with more chance of success such as underwater soot juggling, 4 turned up, Compo having turned traitor and had gone to Ramsey. Moaner, Middle Earth Sam and me NO bites, not one, nadder, nil, nothing. The artist on the other hand had 3 Tench for approx 15lb, no need to weigh them really, missed one and lost another one for a comprehensive victory.
 
The river had come back up a bit and a lot more chocolate, I think we have the salt wash off issues again because we should have had something more on Sunday and I think its the water content again. This week snow and night time frosts so thats me done. 8 degrees or more or I stay in and I've had enough of wearing 6 layers of gear to keep warm and not even seeing a bite let alone catching anything.
 
Sorry for becoming a Moaner clone but enough as they say is enough, goodnight and God bless, see you in the spring.       
 
 
Working not fishing
 
I am sticking to my word NO fishing until this freeze eases up I just cannot see the point, lets be honest freezing cold water the fish do not move at alll and you could dangle the most enticing bait on their nose all day and they would not be interested.
 
However, ever the optimist, I have just checked the Met office web site re forecast and it does say no frosts between now and Sunday, not exactly Ibitha either but it is February after all. The nightimes do not drop below 2 degrees so we have a chance, however small, that we might catch. I assume the Spit will be the venue and the usual book in phone calls please.
 
Now, where's the phone number of that antique fair geezer.     
 
 
 
Sunday  31st Jan The Spit
 
No choice really everything else very frozen, the Deeps was no chance with ice on it at 3.30 Saturday afternoon and minus 3 Saturday night it really was a hiding to nothing.
 
Sunday was loaded completely against any fishing at all, Minus 3, full moon and a cold wind plus watery sunshine combined very well and the 5 extremely stupid people who turned up quickly realised it was all going to go Pete Tong. Middle Earth Sam had 1 bite which was as they say "proper" and missed it The Artist, Compo and Myself did not see anything that resembled a bite in 5 hours and the winner was Moaner who on  a 22 hook and single squatt had 3 sets of eyes and fins vaguely looking like Roach for approx 1 oz in weight and £25 quid, the most expensive Roach in history I would imagine on £ to weight ratio.
 
I have now applied to bequeath my keep net to the local museum as the cobwebs on it are now classed as a protected site of historical interest due to their age. bit like the weather very bitter and have now issued the ultimate threat that I am not coming back out until it gets beyond 8 degrees as I cannot see the point, Senior Andrews had it right after all and hibernation is the right thing to do.
 
Next Sunday, don't care anymore, probably going to an antiques fair, where, with any luck, I might see my keep net   
 
Like fishing only more like watching
 
I've had enough, tackle on ebay I'm ready for the knackers yard, despite my better judgement I escorted the gnarled and wizerned one known as his El Componess onto the spit for a very cold bit of fishing with the only saving grace being wind from the rear, if you know what I mean.
 
Maintaining crap form is not easy but I seem to be doing it with ease, not one bite from 9.30 to 4.00 NOT ONE, on the other hand his royal; compostness with his new fancy fandango float had 4 Tench and a good Bream for 20lb plus missed several bites OH and he was about 12 feet away with several hours of gloating included for free from his majesty, I watched a lot in fact on my form at the moment I had very little choice but this is getting serious I am starting to doubt my own talent or lack of as the case may be.
 
Still never mind he said with much grinding of teeth having watched and listened to his oldness lording it for several hours.
 
Sunday we are going in the deeps regardless just to see if the 15 feet plus water is holding the fish and also that as the wind will be cold and coming from the NWN the deeps will give us the wind at our backs and I can remain fishless in relative comfort, Oh woe is me.
 
Park at Vindis garage  draw at 7.30 fish 8.30 to 1.30 or in my case, watch. Telephone in to book a place I am aware of 4 to date.
 
 
 
Sunday 24th Jan The Spit
 
So 6 turn up all ready for the bream fest and what happens not one,not a single one was hooked let alone caught. Moaner moaned had a big Tench and a smaller Perch for 7lb plus and second I had a further nightmare and in fact thought it was going to be another biteless week but at the last knockings one bite one Perch and at nearly 3lbs it was a real beauty.
 
Compo got snapped up and was fishless as was DNW who had one small fish on and lost it and, guess what, Senior Sick Note rolled up and the 164 year old garden gnome that is Compo actually pushed his barrow across for him as he was air lifted in by air ambulance. It was good to see he had maintained form with 12 year old worms and maggots, he owed up to one missed bite and a early bath to go and watch his favourite ARSENAL get stuffed by Stoke, shame.
 
The winner was The Artist with 3 Tench landed one lost and several missed for 12lb plus with a jacuzzi of a swim left behind at the end of the match, I don't doubt if we had fished on the afternoon may well have been excellent for Tench.
 
MId week a few might be having a fling dependent on how cold it gets and next Sunday will probably be the Spit but as usual it needs a phone call to me to book in. 
 
 
Rain warning
 
In the words of the sooth sayer from Up Pompei " oh woe thrice woe is me", its raining,lots, for those who intend to attend on Sunday be prepared to fish the deeps for the first time this year as I have a feeling that the rest of it will be under water, or we all bring snorkels and body suits and fish the spit. decision on the day based on Mini Me Myring being used as a dip stick, if the water comes over his head it might just reach the top of my wellies
 
The big floats and the long lines might well be needed  
 
 
A Wednesday bit
 
Forget last Sunday it does not even rate a mention, still I suppose I should. 4 fished nobody had a bite we tried the Waits and the back ditch at Holywell and came home early, the end.
 
However Wednesday, Compo , DNW and myself just about managed to get through the flood water and onto the spit where there was no ice and very coloured water. firstly Huzzahhhhhhh I had a bite and a fish in fact several fishes in the end. Compo was third with 6 Bream and 2 good Perch plus a Roach for about 22lbish yes dear reader we saw some Roach, in the process he lost 3 Bream and a Tench but does not get the title of chief numpty that honour stays with DNW. I was next, 6 Bream 1 Tench 2 Perch and 5 roach, yes 5 Roach, for about 30lb and the duck is broken the Geesemaister is back but I did not win. Oh and I did not lose any big fish.
 
This deserves a seperate paragraph, DNW had 1 skimmer 1 12oz Roach and 11 Bream for about 40lb and the cash BUT he had on and lost 10 more Bream. We were catching before him and he had  his "lifes not fair" look on, then as the day moved on and the ancient Mariner next to me pricked and lost a couple of Bream they moved into DNW's swim with a vengeance, it was jacuzzi time. DNW has not changed his pole elastic since he was 5 therefore its a bit old,tired and moves about 2 inches with fish on, Bream having softer mouths than Tench can pull off a lot easier and they did many a time. As Compo said it was the funniest thing we have seen since the best of Fools and Horses, DNW would make a good Rodney. On one occasion the 4 lb plus Bream did not come off until it was nearly in the net at which point he tried to net it again then stab it with his top three and thrashed the water to a foam before realising the fish had gone laughing as it went, Compo nearly fell off his box and I had tears of laughter running down my face, it was all DNW could do to not stick his top 3 in his mouth and dive in after it.
 
I think he had a great day and we had the funniest for a long time, interestingly we had about 90lb between us and only 1 was a Tench although Compo lost one.
 
Sunday on the spit and who knows, booking in only to me by telephone please as numbers are limited to 8 and I have 5 booked already.      
 
 
About the weekend
 
I feel more like a weather forecaster than an angler these days but here goes. We will either be on the Dolphin or Jones on Sunday however the river is going to rise as we have had a lot of rain and it might make the Dolphin unfishable. In the same breath due to the length of the cold snap we might not be able to get in Jones as the ice had got very thick and the thaw is not being very quick. Sunday is due to be 7% which is ok but we might even end up on the Waits. I will have another look on Saturday and I would suggest any idiot, sorry, angler who is fishing the match Sunday give me a call Saturday evening as a decision will have been made by then.
 
I do include Senior in this because its warm enough not to upset his delicate constitution ( I assume full medical teams will be on call plus air lift capacity if he gets a bit chilly and his Mustard vest does not work well enough) and despite my better judgement I also include Moaner despite the fact that the fishing will be hard and if it is I have to stand 5 hours of "I told you so" from his royal Moanership.
 
PLEASSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE get warmer I've had enough now. No bites for a month ( 3 matchs and an additional week when the weather was just too bad to bother) and counting I've seen garden gnomes with better records than me currently.
 
 
A bit
 
What do you write when there is nothing to write about, well nothing really. I have just had a phone call from Senior who swears blind that he will not be on the bank until he requires sun tan lotion because he has cold hands bless him, I had a text from DNW noting his continued hibernation until the ice age goes again, I have missed a call from Compo but I assumed that was by accident because everything Compo does is by accident, Moaner phoned to moan and I made a cup of tea and then came back to the phone and he still had'nt paused for breath. as to the rest of them I assume they are all tucked up in their respective caves awaiting the thaw and sleeping soundly.
 
This week might be worth a go as the frost between now and Sunday is minimal according to the Met Office web site, we do not have a huge snow melt as we did'nt have any snow so if you fancy a couple of squidlies on a match possibly on the Dolphin meadow give me a bell, I'm not even convinced yet, but we have to start somewhere and as I have not seen a bite for a month things are getting a bit desperate.;   
 
 
 
Sunday 3rd Jan The Spit
 
It looked ok and had very little ice on it at least when we started it did but the water was very cold and got colder as the morning went on and more ice formed, however, 5 hardy souls ( read idiots) turned up and struggled. Moaner moaned, as always,and despite moaning managed 1 Tench and a small Perch for about 5lb for the win, he also lost another Tench and missed a further bite. Second and in fact the only other fish caught and landed, DNW with about 10oz and 1 Perch plus the New Years most bizarre fishing tactic suggested by Mrs DNW apparently. He pole cupped some hot tea to warm up the water around his worm, now I'm not Einstein but in 9 foot of water one small cup of tea better be bloody hot to have any effect, in fact nuclear hot might have stood a chance but not tea out of a flask, still he's going to El Goucho land soon for his Zorro re enactment feest, cape a flowing twiddling his moustache and brandishing the sword, you know the usual DNW stuff, and all on a horse as well.
 
As for the rest of us well Compo had a fish on (and lost it) and by doing so leaves me well in front for hours fished without so much as a nibble, this is 3 weeks now and I am getting very fed up, the lads have been informed that I am not coming back out until it warms up and there is at least a hope of some fish. My theory from last year still stands that we will not catch until it warms up and ice is no longer standing on the water plus the contaminated run off snow and ice melt runs through and takes all the salt from the roads with it.
 
Sundays last participant was The Artist who is having just as bad a time as the rest of us and had 2 bites and nil fish for his efforts, however with the purchase of another 7 layers of thermal underware at least he was warm in fact in danger of overheating on the walk to the peg.
 
Next week, don't care, I have seen the forecast and I think the warmest night is -3, I have a feeling that unless things change radically I will remain in bed and if any of the foolhardy venture out then best of luck  
 
 
 
A tweaked bit
 
Having returned from darkest St Ives, the Cornwall version that is, I will start the New Year with a resounding best wishes to all readers of this mess and anglers alike, at this time of year it must be said that the true insanity of anglers shines through, based on last week you would think that we would all stay wrapped up in our beds but no brave and intrepid, I assume, a few will venture out tomorrow ( Not Senior though as he has a note from his mum and a mustard mix on his chest)
 
I have had a look at Jones and the Deeps are heavily iced so no go their, oddly the spit is free of ice but is semi submerged therefore fellow idiots you will require wellies tomorrow as there will be a couple of areas of water to navigate to get to the pegs. I am hopeful that the water is dropping and it won't be as high as it is today, although todays levels are passable with care, however if you so a lifeboat rushing down the Ouse it will be to rescue several stranded anglers who should do the honourable thing and hibernate for a couple of months until all this nastiness goes away.
 
7.30 at the carpark at the back then and I would suggest bring an ice pick as it is going to be cold tonight
  
Monday 28th The Spit
 
It says something about anglers that despite the debacle below at the Fur and Feather 8 wanted to fish in, still very cold, conditions that included ice breaking duties for all present. all the boats have been moved off the spit due to the danger of flooding I presume and we had a bit of room. 
 
It was never going to be great in fact I think most thought it would just be an excuse to have a fag or cigar and wish each other an excellent New Year, however a couple of fish were caught. The winner was Moaner with a good Tench which went 6lb 2oz and several eyes and fins Roach that would have struggled to move the scales in gangs of fifty or more. Second was Middle Earth Sam with a good Perch of 2lb and third was DNW who despite being closest to the reallt thick ice had more botes than the rest of us put together, he managed to lose 2 Tench and miss several more Perch bites.
 
You could say it was a match of two halves and the half 1 in 20, me, Compo, Bombardier and Mini Me Myring were in did not see a proper bite and I refuse to include the fact that Ray caught several pairs of eyes on purpose just to see his float move.
 
So all in all not great, I don't suppose it will get much better until the thaw hits in and we have no ice on the marina, 1 in 20 and the Bombardier are having a go at the Dolphin end of the Meadow today so I will wander over and see whats occurring but I would suggest not too much excitement.
 
I seem to remember a similar period at this stage last year when on a personal basis I did not see a fish for many a long hour but it all came good in the end but as usual only when it got warmer and Senior Sick Note comes back out to play. 
 
So Happy New Year to you all and tight lines to those who know what I am talking about, which usually does not include me.
 
This Sunday is yet to be decided and I would suggest there will be a Match somewhere so ring me after Friday tea time to confirm venue, time will be the normal; 7.30 draw fish 8.30 to 1.30.   
 
 
Sunday 20th Siberia just past the North Pole Fur & Feather match
 
HO HO HO HO HO, it was deep and crisp and even when 8 extremely un wise men decided to go ice fishing in the frozen steppes of Russia. I suppose predictably with -5 on the car thermometer the fish decided a self induced coma was the best option and if we had had any sense a refusal to move from under the bed covers would have made more sense.
 
We were comparing notes on how cold we have fished in and caught and this was right up there with the coldest and not one of us had a bite I think our only chance locally may have been in the deeps at Jone's but we were in 4 foot of very cold water and the fish were not having any. It was so cold that at one stage I realised the only thing keeping my pinkies from death was the water itself because lying them on the deck created two bullet like appendages that bounced when thrown away. "I'm cold and wet" Myring retired to Granddads car within the hour and never came back out the rest of us suitably fortified by Compo's sloe Gin managed until 11.00 and by common consent we all gave up the ghost and went home. 
 
So the extremes of fishing from good to bad in two Xmas matches as last year was so good and this year was more of an exercise in extreme weather survival techniques and had very little to do with fishing.
 
However brave soldiers that we are if the weather warms up at least a bit we intend to fish the deeps at Jones for the first time this year on bank holiday Monday which will be the 28th Dec, a civilised match time with a 9.00 draw and fish 10.00 to 3.00, limited numbers as always so ring me re booking in and if it is anything like this Sunday it will not be happening and we will only come out after the hibernation period has ended..
 
As a final note it being the festive season and good will to all men and Compo even Senior as well, may I wish all, sorry carried away, both our readers a very merry Xmas and a fish filled new year, if you want me I will be in the pub.  
 
 
Sunday 13th December Big Meadow opp Nobles Field
 
As below, we were convinced to try the river as it is chocolate and flowing and regular readers know that if these things come to pass the Bream might feed and I do emphasise the word might.
 
So on Sunday they did not feed, 4 fished, several regulars were away due to work or Xmas shopping or in Compo's case just time for yet another holiday. The funny thing is we all had bites and without doubt there were fish in all 4 swims, in fact, The artist formerly known as will now change his name to 1 in 20 due to the amount missed on feeder. I think there was a lot of small fish present and they were the culprits.
 
The only Breamish fish was DNW's first and only catch of the day this was a skimmer of 10oz however after him the rest of the nets were Chub which was odd as we have not seen hardly one during the summer matches. Senior managed 3rd with 1lb 14oz made up of 2 Chub The Artist was 2nd with 2lb 2oz again 2 Chub and at least 40 of their brothers and sisters not being connected with on the industrial strength feeder rig, but we did'nt laugh at him just with him, honest, and to make it worse yours truly taking the money with 2 Chub and a Dace for 3lb 0oz with 1 in 20 being pleased for me in the traditional St Ives match angler sense of the word, ok, he just swore a lot about me taking his fag money again and how can he afford a Turkey now.
 
So, disappointing really and I did say we should have gone down to the Dolphin end where Bream have been caught twice now athough not in big numbers. I think the Nobles Field Bream shoal do not drop down from the Hemingford End until after Xmas and the conditions were pretty good Sunday and we did not see a Bream, or any other fish come to that, roll on the surface.
 
This week is the chance to see a very old troll dressed as Father Xmas in muck covered wellies and several other garden gnome look alikes as its the annual Fur and Feather match, interestingly this match has neither fur nor feather in it unless you include DNW's red hair and Bet Midler outfit. The match is in the Pike and Eel marina which does tend to fish well even if it is cold and having just looked at the Met Office forecast its going to be cold all week down to -3 at night. The draw will be 7.30 be there for 7.20 at the latest and please book in with me if you are coming not like last year and yes you know who you are (Moaner) fish 8.30 to 1.30 and please bring a draw prize, bottle, biscuits, chocs or Lamborgini.
 
See you on Sunday Ho Ho Ho and all that stuff. 
 
 
Change of venue
 
Mini Me Myring caught Bream off the meadow on Thursday and Moaner is on their today and had 1 big skimmer when I spoke to him, so for the sake of variation we will give the river a go on Sunday and meet at Hemingford gate end at 7.15 ish for a 7.30 draw somewhere on the Meadow, I assume it will be the Dolphin hotel end but we can have a look at Nobles field and opposite the Sea Scouts on the way down as the Bream could be anywhere now that the flood has fined down considerably, although the water is still chocolate the weed seems to have gone and Moaner was able to fish without line full of the stuff every cast as we had on Wednesday.
 
Breamy, or as current "the artist formally known as" or 1 in 3, will now have his chance to get his preferred nickname back before Xmas,isn't that sweet.
 
We, as always, shall see 
   
Small bit
 
To those who care, Senior and myself tried to fish on the Dolphin Meadow(Wednesday) we went in the bay thinking the Bream would be holed up and hungry, which is ok and might even have been a good theory but unfortunately every cast lasted a couple of minutes due to huge amounts of weed still coming down in the flood. the water is still very turbulent and we needed 50/60 gram feeders to hold bottom but the bigger problem was the grandmothers washing line of weed that we had every cast. we gave it an hour and then moved on.
 
So sunday will still be on the spit, book in please, 5 places are already gone and we cannot get more than 7 in even at a push. 7.30 draw fish 8.30 to 1.30
 
See you at the committee "do" this evening compo has promised to wear his best dress and highest heels, yes, it is scary, Oh and next week he dresses as Santa which is even more scary.  
 
Sunday 6th December the Spit
 
You can tell that the weather begins to impact on the numbers attending and Sunday we were a hardy 4 with myself, Senior, DNW and 1 in 3 present for a supposed Tench Feast.
 
The weather at the start was rough and then it got worse and then it howled and we had to peg 1 in 3 down or he would have ended up somewhere off the East Coast as it was his umbrella ended up like a modern sculpture of a bunch of coat hangers and mine had several "L" shaped metal bits that started out as nice curved pieces of metal when I put the thing up.
 
The fishing was weird, 1 in 3 had 1 big fish on that was a Pike and Senior next to him did'nt get a bite, DNW had 1 nice Perch for 1.5lbs and not another bite and then there was me, the same peg as last week where I could not buy a bite, with7 big Tench and 1 big Perch for 35lb. The Tench went over 6lb at the heaviest and really togged on the old elastic. However, I must come clean and confess to all and sundry that despite winning the match by many a mile I fished like a complete numpty, I hooked and lost at least 6 Tench and I think missed 3 Bream on the strike, slime on the line being a sign I am sure, I should have had 70lb plus on a perfect day and although I realise it is easy to lose fish on the worm my catch rate was awful. funnily enough I got my act together eventually and caught several fish in the last hour and managed to land them on 5/6 Pinkies, smaller bait and all that worked.
 
My new nickname should be 1 in 2 and at one point earlier in the day was at least 1 in 3 if not worse.
 
I think the wierd bit was the amount of large fish in my swim, feeding and the lack of fish in the other 3 lads swims even though I was within 10 yards of DNW who was closest.
 
Next week, we are considering a return to the river as the chocolate water and fast flow looks very Breamy, and he wants his nickname back, as I walked past this morning I noticed the water has risen several inches in the last 24 hours and a few of us may venture out late in the week.
 
So, a bit of an unusual fishing week with weather, water and fish all being a bit odd and thats without even considering the state of the anglers who are always odd at their best.
 
Details for next week will, as always, be posted in due course      
 
 
Thursday 3rd December
 
A fabulous 3 went fishing Thursday and got cold and wet, Senior enjoyed his day with 3 large Perch and 2 nice Tench with 1 of the Perch approaching 3lbs unfortunately we did not have scales but it was a superb vividly striped fish, there is very little to beat a big winter Perch on the looks front as they are in great condition and nicely fat having a great time eating the thousands of fry that are in the marina.
 
However, I sat next to Moaner and he moaned and moaned in fact he moaned on an international scale and if it was an Olympic sport he would be in the worlds top 5. I told him to fish the meadow as the water is up and coloured but he was so scared of missing out if we hammered the Tench that he came and fished the spit and spent all day telling me he had made a wrong decision and why did I encourage him to stay, which I had'nt as I would have liked to have known whether the Meadow was fishing for the Bream.
 
God it did rain and it blew and it was cold, Moaner who is a Breamy look a like re body weight looked like a frozen garden gnome for most of the day and could not get his flimsey umbrella to stay still despite giving it a stern talking too on several occasions.
 
Moaner and me caught very little I did have a very nice 2.5lb Perch early on but that was it until 3.10 in the afternoon when suddenly the dinner bell went, first Moaner who had also only had 1 Perch (2oz max) hooked and lost a Tench as he was playing it I hooked and lost a Tench which snapped my hook length, I got striaght back in and hooked and landed another Tench and then lost another one when I got to excited and struck too soon, Moaner then counted to 5 on his last cast struck and had a Tench on which he landed. So from 9.15 to 3.10 didily squatt and then 5 Tench hooked in the last 20 minutes between me and Moaner, just demonstrates how weird fishing can be, I assume falling light helped but it had been overcast all day.
 
Funnily enough although the river is chocolate in colour it has not risen and so has not pushed in substantially into the marina there is colour on the spit just not a large amount. The weather is supposed to be a lot milder for the weekend and I have a feeling the spit will fish but as in the past I have had these fellings before and been proved wrong on many occasions. 
 
So I need to know numbers its a book in situation and the draw for one week only will be 7.15, I have 5 booked in realistically more than 7 is still hard work so first come first served  
 
 
Sunday29th November The spit
 
Lots of cold water and a few cold nights are not the best thing for any fishing let alone Tench and that proved to be true once again on Sunday. Talk about after the Lord Mayors show, this was very hard and very frustrating as fish were in the swims they just were not having any of it at all. 4 fished, Moaner, Compo, 1 in 3 and myself so crowding was not an issue.
 
Sick note cried off and DNW had  found his passport again and gone to the West country I think because he heard that Cowboys lived there and they would appreciate his flowing cape, red hair and swashbuckling style either that or a relative visiting thing.
 
The action will not take long to sum up. Compo had peg 1 used my drag and had one Perch, I had peg 2 had a couple of knocks no real bites and even less fish, Moaner was the star for the day with 2 big Perch early on and two good Tench late on for about 13/14lb we did'nt weigh as no one else had anything too weigh. 1 in 3 lived up to and beyond his billing with 4 bites, 3 missed completely, one Tench hooked and lost and would you believe snapped him to get away, Now assumimg that he was using his usual industrial strength line and hook that a small child could swing on, I must assume the Tench he hooked was on steroids and driving a lorry to complete the getaway. He did however manage to hook, by accident, one of the small blippy Roach that are on the spit which in the best description was a pair of eyes and fins for no weight at all.So that left 1 in 3 with nothing really.
 
As to an explaination, cold I think sums it up a cold wind several cold nights since Wednesday and that was all it took to change the usual fish Jacuzzi to a barren wasteland. Still, Thats fishing for you some times its good and sometimes its just like it was on Sunday.
 
To those who missed the match, well done, timing is everything. Next week I think it will depend on the weather and the water conditions, as I type the water is chocolate on the quay and running hard, if the weather is remotely settled by the weekend the spit would be good if not the Deeps will be the option.
 
As always this is a book in situation and I need a telephone call to confirm attendance with first come first served basis, at the moment the numbers confirmed are 4 so there is room for another 3 max. I have to get away as quickly as possible next week so for one week only the draw will be 7.15 fish 8.15 to 1.15      
 
 
An added bit designed to upset Nevey
 
The chance to have another bash at the Tench was to great to miss so 4 ventured onto the spit Wednesday , a very bright and windy day which was just starting to carry a bit of bite to it, not Tench weather at all but nothing ventured nothing gained as they say.
 
Firstly Compo had arrived early donned his running shoes and track suit and was up the spit to peg 2 faster than Linford Christie and on even more drugs, nothing suspious in that you may say and to which I would reply "are you stupid or what", apparently the cheating compost maister had thrown 2 pints of hemp in the night before a fact that he kept very quite for the first couple of hours but had to come clean as he was getting a bite every 30 seconds and we were not, the we being Mr Crabtree in peg 1 me in peg 4 and Senior in peg 6.
 
So how did it go, I would suggest Nevey that you look away at this point as this was your swim on Sunday and you had 3 Perch for 4lbish, Compo did us all collectively and individually with an approx 75lb made up of 13 Tench and 9 quality Perch with several around and over the 2lb mark. I had 8 Tench, quality fish, for about 35lb. The mighty Senior had 2 good Tench but struggled and peg 1 was a bust yet again with Kevin not recording a single bite which is very wierd taking into account that it has been the favourite swim for the last 3 years at least.
 
So Sunday well firstly its getting much colder but as I type this the river is running and has a little bit of colour in it, so we are on the spit, I have 5 booked in and 7 is the maximum with 3 boats still moored on the spit and in the way somewhat. He who calls first will get the spot.
 
Next week could well be the deeps if the colder weather sets in and the water does not rise and turn chocolate but we at a unpredictable time of year as far as the weather is concerned.
 
So in summary, the 2 sessions have me with 17 Tench, Compo with13 and Senior with 9 not bad for the end of November in clear water and bright sunshine in fact ridiculously good fishing really.
 
Sunday 7.20 at the back of Jones for the 7.30 draw for those who are booked in, oh and bring a drag if you draw peg 1, so that will be Moaner, at least peg 2 is far enough away to muffle the inevitable moans if he does draw it  
 
 
 
Sunday 22nd November Jones spit
 
I've got to say first up that it did not look promising Sunday morning when I walked down the spit for the first time this season, firstly it was gin clear secondly the sun was full out and very bright and thirdly there were still 3 boats moored up which took out at least 2 of the better swims so all in all not that exciting but on we went. 8 turned up and that would have been a push with all the swims open but we got everyone in although we were a bit to far into the shallow end for my liking, at the draw Mini Me Myring drew the flier that is peg 1 and due to the boats it was on its own so we all thought job done except Ray is not a worm angler and you really do have to be to win here.
 
Nevey got 2, again on his own, then it got a bit like Brighton beach on a hot day with Tom" cold and wet"Myring, me, The Artist now to be known once again as 1 in 3, and Senior plus DNW and lastly Compo.
 
The story of the match was I took first blood with a Tench on feeder, DNW had 2 Tench in rapid order on pole, Compo watched and watched and that was all she wrote for him, Senior got the pole out after failing on the feeder and started to lose fish regularly and land the odd Tench but not losing fish as regularly as 1 in 3  Breamy who really should be known as 1 in 6 as that was the proportion of bites and fish lost to fish landed with Senior not far behind with 5 tench hooked and lost as well either of these two could and should have walked away with first place but they did'nt and I did.
 
9 tench and 1 Perch landed from 12 bites for 36lb 11oz gave me the win suitably sending Senior into depression as he had 7 Tench for 30lb 5oz for second and even worse for 1 in 3 who had 3 tench and a big Perch for 14lb 5oz and third. DNW peaked early and despite feeding most of the UK's worm reserves managed no more than the early two and a small Perch for 10lb dead. Nevey, who was on the spit for the first time had several Perch with 2 very large specimens both 2lb ish for a total of 4lb 5oz. As for the Myring clan young Tom had a small Perch and an even smaller Roach with Grandad not getting a bite in the prime swim all morning much to his disgust.
 
So in summary very poor fishing conditions until it clouded up and the heavens opened but there is a fair bit of weed on the spit this year and I think this is holding the Tench however, until we get some colour in the water it will not fish to its usual potential as the Bream will not be interested until it goes a bit chocolate coloured. On the day though who's complaining 21 Tench when it was'nt Tenchy water/weather conditions is pretty good in anyones fishing book  
 
As to the Numpty brothers next to me,  Senior and "1 in 3" landing 1 in 3/4  fish hooked will not do it on most days and next week I suggest a hook rather than just tying the worm to the end of your line.    
 
 
A bit after the last bit
 
Fished yesterday with the Bi-Centenial man (Compo) and Senior we trotted off to Benwick and had a go on the free water in the village, 4 feet of water and at least 2 feet of fish despite the wind, which was awful, we all caught, mainly small fish, and on the whip. Compo managed over 200 fish I had about 160 but messed around with worm lines and tried a few things, a good demonstration of the fish to be caught was I had 1 hour and decided to do it properly just to see what I could catch and had 51 fish mostly small skimmers up to 4 oz with a few Roach and Rudd and a couple of small Perch. Senior had his usual slow start with Compo having 25 fish in the net before he even broke the water and yes we did arrive at the same time, Senior is now on "old persons" time due to impending retirement which has slowed him down even more and as he was extremely slow to start with I assume he will now revert to stop mode. Despite speed issues he still managed 10lbish.
 
On the way home I dropped in to Jones marina and had a word with Mick and his sons who are now taking on much of the work there. We will be fishing the spit at the back this Sunday as the boats are only just coming out of the water in the deeps. So its worm time again folks and hunt the Tinca, lets hope it fishes like last year but I must admit the lack of current colour could affect the fishing and not in a good way
 
Numbers are limited, and I have 6 booked in already, I doubt whether we could get more than 9 on there on a good day but first come first served, those who wish to try need to contact me first 
   
A bit
 
This could be a good thing or a bad one but Benwick is off as the next 2 Sundays they have Winter League stuff going on, however the boats are being lifted out of Jones today and tomorrow and there is just a chance that the spit might be fishable on Sunday, the deeps will not as the first couple of weeks after the boats are lifted all the owners turn up smoking briar pipes and welding Barnacle removers whilst singing sea shanties. I have been in but the owner is not about until later this week so I will know for sure about Thursdayish, watch this space. Once again this venue definately needs a book in with me and it will be limited to a max of 9/10 anglers with the regular attendees taking preference.
 
Sunday 15th November Houghton
 
My lack of optimism was well founded, it was awful, 5 turned up and several gave it a miss and very sensible they were too. the winner was the Artist who managed to wheddle out two good Perch and one small Roach which we did'nt even weigh but I would suggest went nearly 4lb I had 2 bites for two small Perch in the last hour for 12 oz and Compo had 15 Roach for about 10oz so quality fish then.
 
Mini Me managed to lose a big Bream in the first 20 minutes that cost him the match and Tom "I'm cold and wet" Myring failed to register a bite. So that is the story of that disaster and less said the better.
 
In summary I apologise for the lack of rheotoric or humour this week but to be honest there was very little that inspired me to comment and it certainly was not funny at all.
 
This week I am hoping it will be Benwick but I still need to talk to my mate and will let all know some time this week on this site. I also noticed that the river is flowing and slightly up plus with a bit of colour so a lot more rain this week would be good as we will be in Jones in the next couple of weeks and colour plus mild weather could well start a fish feast with big Tench and big Bream being a target at long last.
 
I need numbers for Sunday as we will arrange a meet and travel in convoy so the usual confirming phone calls please
 
Oh, and final thought of the day I have just heard that Senior Sicknote has managed to be invalided out of his job at BT and will be left by the end of the year, BT's share price has just gone up 25% as their expected profit declaration for next year has just doubled due to a 90% reduction in their annual health care costs, co-incidence not really. Well done Senior you have now acheived Compo status at 15 years younger ( that makes you 151 years old) welcome to the allotment years of your life you will be able to compare your Shallots and Marrows on a daily basis.
 
 
 
Extra bit
 
It would seem that this week is a bit difficult for the "where to fish" decision, I had a look at both Bailey Bridge and Houghton yesterday and there was lots of fish topping below the Mill at Houghton but in an almost inaccessable place. However I also saw fish topping below the lock and I must admit one of which was a Tench which was a bit unexpected to say the least considering the water was gin clear. I think we will have a go at Houghton this week as not only were there fish topping but a Comorant was working the water lower down the stretch which I assume must mean fish are present.
 
The car park is £2 and is in the caravan park which is a left turn just before the last house on the left before you reach the Mill.
 
Cannot say that I am filled with huge optimism but there are fish there and they were Roach
 
I have also spoke to Terry at Benwick and they are back in the village stretch after this week and it is looking as though we can fish with them next week. He also said that the visiting club match last week was won with 14lb of Roach, so good signs but this offer is yet to be confirmed.
 
Don't forget Sunday you will need wheels and possibly waders as it is a bit of a trot from the carpark, Senior remember to bring your medication and medical back up team just in case, DNW please don't wear a matching dress and handbag ensemble to go with your "lovely" red hair plus the meadow is dodgy for your high heels. 7.15 in the carpark for a 7.30 draw and please let me know if you are coming. 
 
 
Sunday 8th November Pike & Eel marina
 
I have already typed this out once and lost the lot due to computer gliche so the following will be the appreviated "things that happened on Sunday" as I have very little time
 
It did not rain
It did not blow
No plagues of Frogs or Locusts were recorded
Compo had to leave his horse and scythe at home, much to his disgust as he had sharpened his best one, scythe that is not horse.
Moaner moaner lots and lots and came third with 3lb 6oz of Bleak
Moaner is a fishing Jinx, I sat opposite him and had 2lb 3oz of Bleak
Compo won with 11lb 5oz or as he put it when asked a couple of pound
DNW was second with 6lb 2oz
DNW has dyed his hair red and looks like Bet Midler
DNW now wants to be a female impressionist when he grows up
DNW now firmly in touch with his feminine side
No one took the michael out of DNW's hair, yeah right he looks like a swanvesta match
Oh and it was cold first thing
Breamy had one Bleak and has reverted nicknames back to the Artist
Senior fished for several hours for didley moved to the end of Compo's and DNW's spit and had 4.5lbs in an hour
The Seal is back and just loves people
The fish do not love the seal
Anglers do not love the seal
One boat did a 14 point turn, guess where, in front of me and moaner.
Boat person said sorry I am new at this
I said we would never have known and could you move the front of your boat out of my keepnet
Mr Crabtree turned up and wished he had'nt 10 Bleak not being worth getting out of bed for.
We have no idea where to go next Sunday
I will let you all know, usual stuff 7.30 draw and ring me if you are attending
 
Job done, back to work 
 
 
Sunday 1st November Pike& Eel marina
 
Welcome to our recent match series entitled "fishing during the apocolypse" featuring the 4 horseman, of course, so that would be Death(Senior Andrews,as close as you can get without actually being dead), Pestilence ( Compo, of course he has his own collection of flies that follow him all year and he has names for each one) Famine ( Breamy Ashcroft, who had to be weighed down with 2 boats at the weekend) and War ( Bombardier Pankhurst, broke his new pole and had a banging headache all match which means a third world country will be in further ruin prior to a late tea just to make him feel better).
 
2 weeks in the marina the first week it blew, and a lot, this week it blew harder and Breamy's umbrella resembled a  very crumpled plastic bag as it blew inside out on several occasions, oh and it rained and rained sideways, in fact from both sides at once and downwards all at the same time. Despite all of the above we all caught fish, unfortunately the favourite swims had all been swallowed by parked boats and it did become much less of a certaintly as to where it would be won as we were all over the place, quite literally in Breamy's case although the smart money was on him as he was within 5 yards of the favourite swims from the previous week. Having spent at least 45 mintes keeping his tackle and himself on the bank he managed a very creditable 20lb 12oz but for second place. Myself and the newly nicknamed Tom " I'm cold and wet" Myring were on the next platform back and we both caught from the off, Tom did the girly thing as he did not have an umbrella and packed up at the half way point but weighed 2lb 13oz anyway. I, on the other hand caught from the off and had over 100 fish in the first 3 hours, it was great fishing, 5m whip to hand but presentation was terrible in the wind and I still caught, Skimmers mainly one proper Bream some nice Perch and a 12oz Rudd plus I managed to lip hook and get smashed by a Zander, but in the end recorded 149 fish for 21lb 2oz and the win, Breamy was gutted.
 
Third was Pestilence, sorry Compo who had a couple of slabs and good back up small fish for 16lb 15oz with Nevey back for another go with 8lb 2oz for fourth with some nice Rudd in his net. The mighty Mick Senior sicknote had a cut and thrust mini match with mini me Myring and just pippped him with 4lb 5oz to 4lb 2oz respectively. The Bombardier crashed and burned with a DNW and as DNW was on annual sabbatical to a dustmans conference somewhere up North, yes he took his passport and waterproof because its a long way on a horse.
 
So that was that part 2 of the series done, the only things missing was the raining Frogs and plagues of Locusts but as we have another go on the same venue next week I can only assume the best will be saved until last, I have also told the 4 horseman they have to arrive on a winged steed carrying a scythe, all Compo said was did the other 3 want to borrow some from his collection, which worries me somewhat.
 
Next week 7.30 draw, I need confirmed attendance please, numbers will be restricted as mentioned previously. 
 
 
 
Another bit
 
On request I have approached the Manager, John , at the Pike and Eel and he has very kindly agreed to allow us back in to the marina for our match on Sunday this week. It is very sad that our own waters do not offer the really good silver fish angling that this marina holds, but it does'nt and thats all I can say on the matter, further ranting about Comorants. Otters, and other means of fish removal by person or persons unknown, (thats the PC answer) have very little effect and those that should be listening are not, so we will continue to find alternative places to try and get a few in the net.
 
Draw 7.30 fish 8.30 to 1.30, as before places are limited and I need to know numbers so ring me first, lastly please be quiet as you reach the marina as people are still staying overnight at the weekends on some of the boats
 
 
Sunday 25th Oct Pike and Eel marina
 
I suppose I should start this with the annual caveat about our matches at this time of year. We are extremely fortunate to have access to 2 marina's through late autumn and winter BUT this is for matches only and will be reserved for those who have attended matches throughout the year this is because space in both of the venues is limited and it would not be right if faithful attendees were not given first refusal.
 
Right, that will sort out the management issues, next, to the match itself. 7 fished, Compo has gone to his usual annual muck spreading championships in some foreign clime, Moaner was fishing the open at March and I bet that was fun based on what I had heard on the grapevine as to how it is fishing currently.
 
P&E marina has no depth, unlike Jone's, and is a lot bigger, John the manager informed me that they have not seen the resident Seal for several months so we all thought we had a chance. We fished 4 on one platform and 3 on another purely because this is where the fish have been in other years and also because a hurricane decided to have a bit of blow during the match so we wanted the wind behind us, I've got to say we were losing bait boxes, clothes and even catapults, that was Senior of course, we had to peg Breamy down due to the high winds and his 3lbs full body weight otherwise we could have used him as a kite. So, 3 feet of water and 2 feet of fish, this is where all the silver fish live that used to be in the river, in some ways it is very depressing as we cannot fish here often and we know what the fishing is like and by that I mean very good.
 
Breamy won it with 23lb 8oz nothing big just good quality, the next bit makes me choke, he caught all his fish on 5 pinkies on a size 14 hook, now I know he is a butcher when it comes to finess and small hooks and as he calls them "skinny lines"  but that's terrible, several fish on each lot of 5 pinkies until they were just skin and then do it again, the mans a fishing animal but you cannot argue with the result
 
The front platform has the better swims with slightly deeper water and second was Senior Sicknote with 18lb 12 oz again a very mixed bag everyone catching Roach, Rudd, Perch, Bleak but mainly skimmers with the odd proper Bream. I managed 3rd from the platform behind with 16lb 6oz and it was very noticable that the front platform fish were bigger than the stamp from the shallower water, myself Nevey and DNW had less than 3 feet but Nevey managed 3 proper Bream in his 14lb 13oz.
 
Tom "I'm not a miner" Myring took mini me granddad to the cleaners at either end of the front platform with 11lb 15oz and 7lb 12oz respectively. Finally the mighty DNW Smallhookzorromaling, to give him his full title, managed 8lb 15oz stuck between Nevey and me which was always going to be a hard ask as the middle swim does not have the scope of the two outside ones. So first marina outing of the season average weight approximately 14.5lbs per man, now, thats good silver fish fishing outside of a commercial
 
Next week I don't know we would love to give the marina another go but two in a row might be asking to much, we shall see, Compo is absolutely gutted that he has missed the annual fish fest so I might try pleading on his behalf, you know the score 169 years old and not liable to survive another hard winter , it could work you never know
 
 
 
The bit about the match bit for Sunday
 
Good news and bad news for those who wish to partake on Sunday. firstly the bad, the Benwick boys are not fishing the town stretch this week as they have a prior booking on there, Terry has told me that next time they are on the stretch he will give me the "heads up" and we can go over for a thrash.
 
The good news however, is, I spoke to John the Manager at the Pike and Eel and he has agreed to our usual couple of practice matches plus the annual Xmas match, at which Compo dresses up and becomes a very sinister child scarer called Father Xmas, seedy version. The really good news is the first go will be this Sunday. As per last week I will need names of those attending and quiteness will be the order of the day as people still live in some of the boats even this time of year. John also assures me that the dreaded Seal has not been seen for a couple of months.The draw will be 7.30 and fish 8.30 to 1.30
 
Whilst I am at it, Committee members remember committee meeting 22nd Oct at the Dolphin for a 7.45 start.  
 
Sunday 18th October Sewells lake
 
Lazy mans draw times again, 8.00 draw for a 9.00 start, this was a joint match with Brampton AS and I was very pleased to see we put 9 of the 12 attending in the draw. As to the match, not good really, unfortunately the lake suffers once the cold sets in and a couple of near frosts this week had pushed the fish into deeper water. However, great to see Moaner drawing end peg in the shallows and loving every minute of it,not. he still managed to catch a few on the feeder late on and this included a 4lb Tench, and he calls me lucky, Tony wieghed 5lb 5oz for third which was well done from that peg. Colin Oliver and myself were in the next 2, Colin had 1 bite 1 Roach and I had about a dozen small Raoch for approx 1.5lbs which I chucked back. I had all my fish in the first 2 hours and not a bite in the last three so not great. DNW took a £1 off me in the next peg and was very happy and weighed 2lb 4oz with several Dace of all things in his net.
 
We had a new recruit on the bank and for those affectionados of Monty Python Dave Dinsey immediately became Spiny Norman in honour of the Dinsdale brothers sketch, if you have'nt seen it, do so, it involves nailing heads to tables etc all good family fun. Unfortunately despite the great nickname he was a DNW. The Bombadier showed up and after several low level strafing runs to clear the area of any insurgents he proceeded to live up to his name and attempted to re structure the lakes contours with his usual groundbait barrage. Roger Gowler next door was astounded at the start and I had to explain the ex military background and "shock and awe" tactics. Something must have worked as Nigel managed 3lb 10oz but Roger went somewhat better with 6lb 0oz for the win, one good skimmer and the rest Roach and the odd Perch.
 
Senior lived up/down to his reputation and managed 2lb 2oz and was not in the coin for a change with Compo next to him not weighing despite a great start and then Pike trouble. The deeper water was the key but Nick Marriott struggled to 1lb 12oz on peg two with dark horse Breamy catching 5lb 13 oz of manly Roach from peg1 for the second spot.
 
I suppose it goes to show that end pegs are a good draw most of the time, so stop moaning for half an hour Moaner when you get one.
 
Highlight of the day was definately seeing 2 fully antlered Stags getting into the water 20 yards from Breamy and swimming across to the Island in the lake, just a shame no one had a proper camera as it was a magnificent sight, I am talking about the Stags here because Breamy has never been a magnificent sight in fact if he turns sideways you cannot see him at all.
 
Next week we have an invite to Benwick, I need names people and we will arrange meet up times and places once I have spoken to Terry Fairbrother who is my counterpart in that part of the world. Hopefully the Roach that have fed there of late will not run away just because we turn up, as seems to happen on our away days. I blame Senior Sicknote, its the smell of his mustard vest that he wears to keep the cold out and all his current diseases in   
 
The bit about Sunday 18th
 
For those who wish to partake, this Sunday we are fishing at Sewells lake in Brampton, this is a joint match with Brampton AS, as they are much lazier than us the draw will be at the very dignified hour of 8.00am and we will fish 9 until 2. Nick Marriott, who is the Brampton match organiser, says that they will have about 4 on the bank and I am hoping we can take our usual 7/8. The lake is renowned for its silver fish and weights have been around the 10lb to 15lb mark recently. The water is usually coloured and I have seen anglers catch anywhere from 4 metres to 13 on pole with the odd weight on feeder. The target fish are Skimmers and Roach with some Perch and the odd Rudd, in addition there is always the chance of a big Tench or proper Bream as well.
 
The peg fee is £3 with match fee at £7, so total cost is £10 unless you are a Brampton season ticket holder in which case no peg fee applies. I do need to know numbers so please let me know if you are attending   
 
The entrance to the lake is opposite the Brampton football club pitches I should be around a bit earlier to guide those among us who cannot navigate beyond Godmanchester, yes thats you Breamy and DNW. 
 
Sunday 11th Oct Bailey Bridge Hemingford Abbots
 
Not that it happens very often but on the odd occasion people win matches when they really had no right to do so and when it is me it gets embarassing, Sunday was one of those days. Firstly, it is good to see the numbers still fishing our matches even when the fishing has become dire and the weather is not so good, 8 turned up for Sunday and at the draw the plum swims were Compo and Senior either side of the river and either side of the bridge which is usually the holding point for both the Roach and perch.
 
Senior nearly changed swims as he had not got any waders, I ask you the man knows once we leave "A" Section you need waders perhaps if he threw some of the medications and defibrilators out of his ambulance he would have room for a bit more fishing gear, having said that Senior brings more gear than any of us and is twice as slow setting up and then packing up, mainly due to his "condition " no doubt.
 
As to the rest "The Artist" was end swim furthest walk and due to his current car, Formula 1 style, he cannot get all his gear in either and without platform had to walk it down the bank which at Hemingford is not the most user friendly, As we all know "The Artist" is not the fattest man in the world in fact anyone who lives on a diet of fags and then some more fags is never going to be Mr Fat or fit if you know what I mean. So, after several trips the sweaty mess that was the Artist finally came to rest and had 2lb after throwing in to much worm with his 6ft long arms which had lengthened during his marathon earlier. Mini me had a few on bread and then threw them back in disgust, Nevey threw his box in and then realised the water was deep under his feet afterall and weighed a princely sum of 6oz. DNW weighed with a superb 2lb Perch and a few bits for third having stripped to the waist earlier to retrieve his box leg when he like Nevey realised if you can't see the bottom it is probably a little bit deep.
 
Now, I sat next to Moaner and true to form he moaned about everything but thats Moaner however at the point that I caught my first big Perch of 2lb 4oz on a Bleak that I hooked shipping out he lost the plot, the plot stayed lost as I landed the aforesaid Perch on a 22 hook which had slipped out of the Bleak and into the Perch, Oh how the chaps applauded I could tell how pleased they were for me because they only swore and did not throw anything. Now, at the point that, 15 minutes later, I hooked a small Roach and did it all over again with another Perch of 2lb 1oz well you can imagine the joy, Moaner by this stage was trying to saw open his wrist with a blunt disgorger such was his delight. Well that was enough really with very little else in the net I weighed 4lb 9oz  for the win.
 
Moaner managed 1lb and will  never recover and Compo, on the favourite peg, lost 2 big Perch and DNW, On the other side and in the coin again was Senior Sick Note with 3lb 2oz for second with yet another big Perch approaching 2lb 7oz I would say.     
 
So to summarise if you want to win a match at Bailey Bridge loose feed small fish, job done, just ask Moaner and then stand back while he goes into melt down.
 
Next week I am trying to get us into Sewells Lake at Brampton where I have been told the last match last week was won with 18lb and second was 10lb weights we can only dream about from our river at the moment.
 
 
Match information for Sunday 11th Oct
 
Mini me and myself managed a few hours at the Bailey Bridge on Wednesday and although the fish were generally small there was lots of bits and plenty of action unlike recent times on our own waters. Mini had a huge Perch constantly trying to eat his small Roach and eventually he hooked and landed it, after a cup of tea and a sandwich it must be said while the Perch had a 10 minute kip in a weedbed, no scales to hand but over 2.5lbs I would say, so, a lovely fish, which scared of Perch Myring could not touch, almost as big a girl as Breamy with Eels.
 
I went further down the stretch and had 4/5lb of small Roach, Dace, Bleak and a dozen Perch on a worm line. As a consequence we are going to give it a go on Sunday, so draw at 7.00 at Bailey Bridge and game on.
 
Just as an aside you will need £3 for a day ticket and the bailiff will turn up as he did on Wednesday. Just a tiny bit surprised at the aforesaid bailiff as we discussed bringing 7/8 people for a match on Sunday he stated " anymore than 7 and you will have to book". Now I had walked the length and it was obvious this bank had not seen an angler for months let alone weeks so that comment did come across as slightly jobsworthy. Suffice to say the weights will be awful and we will then have to try somewhere else, Sewells Lake at Brampton has been mentioned so I might have to make enquiries, it seems finding a silver fish water river or lake round here is now nigh on impossible.
 
Bring on the winter floods.
 
Oh, and now the stitches are out and I have two hands back I look forward to blanking       
 
 
Sunday 4th August "A" Section
 
It was good to see 9 fishing again on Sunday even though 7.00 AM appears to be way to early for Moaner and not even in the correct time zone for Mini Me and Tom " I'm not a miner" Myring who turned up at 20 minutes past 7. Still no Nessie Nesbit so we assume he has gone into panto early this year and will back when the winter season is done, in panto that is not fishing.
 
So to the match and firstly you could not have picked a worse set of circumstances to fish in, Northerly wind, bright Sun and colder nights plus gin clear water and worse of all a full moon. Having checked with other areas who have all confirmed poor weights from Sunday there is no doubt that a full moon will curtail any chance of good match fishing and this one was no exception.
 
However "to the winner the spoils" and as per my comments below woe betide them if I won this week with stitches still in my thumb plus to add a severely pulled upper leg muscle that had me rolling around like a drunken sailor. However with 4lb 7oz of Perch it was more than enough, mainly worm then, from peg 7 which we pegged for the first time this season. the peg has a good inside depth and a reasonable piece of bank cover at 13 metres which allowed the odd Perch all day, nothing beyond 8oz and mostly 2/3 oz but steady stuff. Now to the also rans, second was Senior from a proper worm swim,peg 8, he had 2 Perch but 4/5 nice Roach for 2lb 1oz just shading "the artist" from peg 11 who had 1lb 13.5oz of Perch and an eel at the end of his keepnet by dangling his worm on their heads until they got bored and took it.
 
Compo drew Binges Hole on peg 1, absolute worm heaven for Perch and Eels, and then fished maggot, words rarely fail me dear reader but he then wondered why he had not had a bite, predictably he failed to have a bite for quite some time and then retreated half way through the match to his very own compost corner.
 
Nevey did not have a bite, not one , from peg 2 and "I'm not a miner" Myring suffered close to the same fate in peg 3, DNW weighed with a monster 13.5 oz but was beaten by the Moaner who was on peg10 and had 1lb 6oz his joy knew no bounds,NOT, in fact to say that Moaner reached new depths of moaniestness would be more than fair. The mighty Mini Me had peg 9 and managed 7oz which shows it was hard and he had mainly small fish, of course.
 
So in summary, bloke in stitches and limping badly took them all to the cleaners, not so funny now is it Senior and DNW, Ha ha ha ha ha exits stage left still using manic laughter.
 
Next week, in truth I really do not know what to do, I might try Bailey Bridge at Hemingford in the week or even the Ivo lake might be an option.Anyone who is fishing contact me towards the weekend and I will let you kbow what the plan is for Sunday.      
 
A very small bit, in fact thumb sized
 
Just to note that the draw goes back to 7.00am Sunday, last week was a concession to the lazy Anderson crew, I also noticed some vandalism on the website (Senior) regarding my recent accident and yes, I will still be fishing with a large dressing on my thumb Sunday, BUT, as promised if I beat anyone you will all pay. Beaten by a bloke in half mittens etc much like last week. 
 
 
Sunday 27th September Anderson Cup Meadow Lane
 
Firstly, Compo, Mr Crabtree and myself (Thumbalina) spent a couple of hours down the Lane saturday morning clearing a few swims as we expected a good turn out for the match on Sunday. I managed, whilst participating in a saw juggling contest, to slash my thumb open and spent Saturday afternoon in A&E as a consequence with 6 stitches and a huge dressing on the aforementioned right hand thumb. Now I only mention this for 2 reasons firstly Steve Anderson tried to get my wife to , in his words, "nobble me" for the match and secondly you try putting a single pinkie on a 24 hook with a huge dressing on your thumb.
 
So to all those mikey takers at the start, as word had obviously got round, I will say one thing, I lost at least an hour pratting about tackling up and trying to sort out tangles let alone hooking bait and changing hooks and I still came third out of 12 so it does not say much for the mikey takers does it and yes you know who you are Mr Senior and DNW.
 
So to the match, awful, the Roach did not feed and we all struggled, having said that at least St Ives put in a slightly better show than last year and it was also good to see Nevey record a win from one of the deeper pegs up towards the old river with 2lb 12 oz, Moaner managed 2lb 0oz for second and I should have beaten him but due to hand coordination issues I managed 1lb 14.5oz for third. The main source of fish being small Dace with the odd Perch, Chublet, Bleak and some very small Roach.
 
We have had a look above the old river as there appears to be some swims with deeper water on them the trouble is that all of these areas need major surgery to make swims available I may well go down and cut a couple out and give it a go. to be honest the lack of colour and reduction in good sized silver fish has left the river very tempremental and it is now almost impossible to second guess how it will fish. 50lb of Roach off "A" section one week and 4 Roach the next being one example and Meadow lane also being good two weeks ago with 8lbs and 7lbs weights and this week terrible.
 
So next week probably "A" section as we do know there are fish on the section but I would suggest anybody intending to fish gives me a call first to check. The stitches come out next Monday so I am condemned to another week of muppetry on the bank which should be good for a laugh but if I beat you again Senior and DNW it would be very funny.   
 
 
Sunday 20th September "A" Section
 
A select few were present for our return to Sunday normality after the big matches. Compo, Mini Me, DNW were among the legends of angling not present, oh and Senior was'nt there either.
 
However after the Roach fest of last week on "A" The artist, Moaner. Nevey and myself came armed with Hemp, Wheat, Tares, Bread Punch and Castor with the idea that we were all going to empty the place of Roach. So, how do you make God laugh..... tell him your plans thats how. I doubt that we had more than 5  small roach between the 4 of us. At the draw the usual things happened Moaner drew peg 12 and moaned again he then showed us his new Rod Holdall and when I say Holdall I mean hold all, its huge, it sleeps 4 with a working toilet only trouble is that Moaner now needs to take muscle suppliment for the next 10 years so that one day he will be able to get the thing off the ground.
 
Nevy drew 11 and The Artist and myself were in 2 and 1 respectively, the fishing in peg 1, now known as "Binge Hole" after Stan the man's ability to draw this peg and no other, was good, the Perch were feeding from moment one and the first hour and a half put 4lb plus in the net after that the sun came up and the boats began in numbers including our usual good friends from the rowing club. I caught fairly well until 10ish and then went further across for another 3/4 lb of Dace which was good to see with the odd fish up to 4oz, end result the win with 9lb 10oz and a really nice days fishing. The artist, next to me, was second with 3lb 2oz of bits and in third and fishing the best peg again was Moaner with 1lb 12oz, SOOOOOOOOO thats twice he has drawn it and twice it has not fished, co-incidence, I don't think so. 
 
Nevey struggled to 1lb 6oz from peg 11 so in fairness to Moaner it was a struggle off the 2 best pegs, Ha ha.
 
Next week we are back to full compliment and down Meadow Lane for the Anderson memorial cup, if you recall dear reader this was a source of acute embarassment last year with us, so called, match anglers being done by a couple of pleasure and specimen boys in our own back yard. The main problem might be finding enough swims for the usual 12/15 anglers but I'm sure we will manage
 
Just a quick reminder to all that next week the draw time is 7.30 and fishing is 8.30 to 1.30. The whoopee moment is that they will be no rowers but I suspect something will ruin it usually in the shape of 200 canoes or a Blue Whale having lost its way.
          
 
Teams of 4 Open A,B and Meadow Lane Sunday 13th September
 
9 teams of 4 fished the open Sunday and I will be honest I did not want to be there, I rarely do not want to fish but having spent Saturday travelling back from Cyprus for 12 hours just to get here and then not sleeping Saturday night meant I failed to concentrate and fished like a complete numpty. I would mention that there were serveral contributory factors not least the drawer which "hang my head in shame"Ray had pegged and managed to leave at least 3 good pegs around  Church Hole plus 2 good swims opposite the rowing club out but managed to put 4 of us in the bay where only 1 peg is fit for use at this time of year and the water conditions being what they are.
 
Enough ranting, suffice to say a few oz was never going to worry the leaders who, predictably, all came from "A" section. The most amazing fact of the day being that Stan "The man" Binge managed to find peg 1 in the draw bag again, that man should do the lottery every week. However Stans 8lb 12oz only got him 4th on the day as he was beaten by 3 good Roach weights all on Hemp I am reliably informed and as follows
 
1st Darren Page 12lb 11oz
2nd Rob Hewison 11lb 9oz
3rd David Rowell   11lb 7oz
 
"A" section always holds some fish and it is really good to see some Roach weights after recent years where it has been almost impossible to catch any Roach at all let alone a match winning weight of them.
 
As a further good sign Meadow Lane threw up two 8lb plus weights and a big 6lb as well. I would temper all this good news with noting that anywhere from Nobles field to the rowing club was a very hard place to be with section wins for 3lbs plus in both sections with many catching oz and not lbs. As to St Ives "A" team we were awful and embarassment means I could not possibly recount our combined weight, I would say the draw was unkind as even Mini me Myring our "A" section peg holder managed peg18 which has not registered a place yet alone a win this year and with Compo opposite Nobles and me in the very dead bay plus the Artist on Cyanide straight down the Lane all in all it can only get better next year, oh and next year we will all be millionaires as well.
 
This Sunday back to the club stuff with several away I expect a select group on "A" section with Nesy and Nevey the famous double act threatening to show up, hopefully the Roach will still be keen on the seed and we have a good day with less rowers and power boats, you never know we could get lucky.   
     
Teams of 4 practice open "A" & "B" Section Sunday 6th September
 
15 fished and as I was organising I tried to peg all the deeper areas and noted swims to give everyone a chance, as usual that did not work at all, the 6 on A section mostly caught at least some and those on B did'nt
 
Several good anglers were there and at the draw expectations were, how can I put this, less than bouyant. Gin clear, nasty wind (as always) no stream and a full moon which always kills the sport for whatever wierd reason plus as it turned out a parade of the usual canoes, cruisers, long boats, barges and again worst of all without any respect for other river river users the rowing club. Now, I know I get on my hobby horse with the rowing club but this was a new low. 6 youngsters each in a skiff all rowed up, with this I have no problem I think its great to get them out from behind the computer, fresh air and exercise does marvels for all the 13 year olds hangovers I'm sure, BUT, Mr Coach who is in another boat lines them up stationary in a long line just in front of myself, "hang my head in shame" Ray and fizz from Stanjays has a nice long pep talk and then does a racing start, actually in front of me Mr Coach was on one side of the river and his little prodigy is trying to get into my keepnet. I was impressed with myself because I actually asked nicely if he would move and the fact that there was at least half a mile to the next angler gave him more than enough room to do so and his answer was and I quote "but I'm coaching". Now dear reader, as you know I am a shy and retiring type who would not say anything nasty to anybody and in this case I was so gob smacked at the answer I forgot to question Mr Coach's parentage, no problem, if he does it next week I will have written the answer down so I don't forget to tell him how much I love him and his next generation.
 
As to the fishing it was not great on A and absolutely awful on B, B section was won by the artist with 1lb 12oz and second was Compo opposite the rowing club with 1lb 11oz, as you would expect the artist was a tad pleased with that win, as has been said on many an occasion mainly small fish then. All the weights came from A, the winner was, wait for it, me with 7lb 6oz of some Roach a few skimmers a couple of good Perch and a few smaller ones plus 9 gudgeon, and that is unusual, so a real mixed bag and before Senior rattles on about the draw, yes , I drew peg 12 an absolute flyer, but in my defence as the organiser I was the last person to draw so they all had their chance. Second from peg 11 was Duncan" hang my head in shame" ray with 6lb 14oz who managed to lose a match winning big fish in the first half hour and his head was hung lower as a result in keeping with the name.
 
Third was Stan "the man" Binge from Peg 1 which he seems to draw in this match on a regular basis, emptied it early and then struggled for 6lb with Perch, a small chub and a big Eel. In fourth was Ricky Young with another empty the swim early job on peg 8 but once the early Perch had gone he suffered and weighed 5lb 4oz.
 
So, that was the practice, won, as last year with Compo, by a St Ives club angler, just shows local knowledge does count for something as Duncan Ray was once also a St Ives angler plus 1st and 2nd in the section of death were St Ives members, so a bit of a whitewash really.
 
Next week St Ives "B" have gone on holiday rather than face humiliation from the "A" team. Senior's 13oz  and DNW's 9oz this week not helping I'm sure. Should I be gloating over the result, no, am  I, oh yes!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Duncan is organising next week and tells me 10 teams are expected so we will probably have a section down Meadow Lane and 3 sections on A and B on the meadow, no full moon a few more might even catch a few fish who knows.                    
 
 
 
A Small but worthy bit
 
Geesey is back hello hello, well you would all have to old enough to remember Gary Glitter before he managed another reason for fame or more like infamy to get that old 45 recording reference. However, I return, suitably bronzed and Adonis like from the white sands of Sardinia. Firstly the usual thanks to the Senior Sick Note for his yoeman like efforts below, you see, the trouble is, no control when I go away fancy letting them fish all over the place they will all get ideas above their station if you do that. Secondly Man Utd stuffed Arsenal and my subtle text to Senior noting "what a jolly good show that the lads had managed to beat the Arsenal" or words to that effect, well shorter words mainly and probably a bit less civilised, have yet to receive a reply on that one so I assume he has taken his caravan to Hinchingbrooke to renew his medications.
 
Last weeks high spot must be Moaner getting stuffed by all and sundry off peg 12 which has won "week in week out" this year until he gets on it. I cannot wait to tell him, in a very sympathetic manner of course, how sad I was to hear of the passing of all of his fishing talent into the toilet.
 
This Sunday we start the 2 bigger matches of the season with the Teams of 4 and firstly the practice for that match. You will remember , no doubt, dear reader that last year Compo won at a canter from a very unfancied peg 15 but as always we will see and I think if less than 20 fish the practice match the winner will be either peg1,2,12 or possibly opposite Nobles.
 
Watch this space 
 
 
 
 
Sunday 23rd August

Alas the humour may not be as good but here we go as Kojak's stand in for the week, The God of Angling or so he like to tell me is probably stuffing his face full of sardines I suppose as he is in Sardinia, I am unsure if he can smoke a King Edward at the same time but sure he will give it a try "smoked sardines I think they call them"
 
So the story from this weekend "5 have a go on A section", The Artist, Senior and Junior, Moaner and boy does he, plus DNW turned up , the Artist digusted with the thought of fishing for small fish on A section decided to go a wandering to somewhere opposite church hole for the big stuff and DNW felt so sorry for him and decided to hold his hand. Until the last weigh in he probably thought that was a good choice, for he had stuffed everyone till Junior (educated in the art of water craft some say by his father)  weighed in.
 
I must point out that the smile moaner had at the start when he drew peg 12 was a far cry from the one he had at the whistle when he got beaten off the next peg by yours truly. 
 
Junior will also not admit that I handed peg 1 to him on a plate as the previous nights lager consumption caused a wheat cooking failure, in hindsight did he know something I didn't other than he's a better angler than his ol man, or so he keeps telling me.
 
Moaner and I struggled to get the roach going on wheat this week, they were there I did find a few but it was a far cry from last weeks haul
 
Final weights
 
1st Junior Andrews Sister with 5lbs 10 oz of Perch and bits, 2nd DNW with 4lbs 14oz, 3rd The Artist 3ilbs 3oz, 4th Senior Andrews Sister 3lbs 3 oz, Last place off the best peg 12, Moaner 2lbs 13oz
 
Watch this space to see if Junior can make another match in 2009/10.
 
There is no plannned club match next week as its August Bank Holiday and too few in attendance, so the next meet will be the HAJAC teams of 4 practice, the B team will no doubt be looking to uphold its status of beating the "St Ives A" team again, plus of course going one better and winning the whole thing this year, I will probably be eating my words come September 13th.
 
No-one has heard from Compo so its either very good or very bad in Paddy land.
 
Senior signing off


A worth having bit
 
After Seniors moment of Roachiness on Sunday, Breamy, Senior and myself went on Wednesday primarily to have a go on the seed. At the draw I was fortunate enough to get peg12 which as mentioned below is the big favourite at the moment. Senior swapped 11 for 1 with Breamy now in 11 and on we went.
 
It may have been midweek but there were a lot of boats but no rowers thank god, instead we had teenagers swimming all over the place and they could not understand why we were not happy about them swimming through mine and Breamy's peg but eventually after some educational conversation they got the gist of my message.
 
The river was the ginnest of gin clear and Breamy and myself started on the pole at 13m, I realised fairly early on that the fish were there but a bit further out and so the trusted waggler came out and the Roach started to come after about 2 hours on Wheat feeding Hemp, Breamy also started to catch and although Senior was a long way away we assumed he was catching as he did'nt turn up to moan about everything.
 
At the weigh in I had 14lb 11oz a couple of skimmers and Perch the rest Roach with Breamy slightly undercooked at 9lb, we both had missed so many bites it was untrue, I also had trouble with both Pike and big Perch, they like Roach. Wheat is a wonderful bait at this time of year and it was so good to see Roach in pristine condition, granted not 12 oz fish but I netted several to 8oz and so did Breamy. Senior on the oher hand could not find any Roach and spent most of his time on worm for a typical worm net. Senior had 6/7 Eels which is a lot these days plus lots of Perch and some of these were also fairly lumpy. his final weight was just over 10lb which for an alternative to seed fishing was very good.
 
A really good days fishing enjoyed by all with the sun out and the wind almost, but not quite, reasonable. Sunday is being organised by Senior Andrews with rumours of as Junior Andrews appearance which is rarer than rocking house poo. I am led to believe "A" Section is the place.
 
Lastly, I don't think there will be a match on the 30th due to several members absence and it being late August bank holiday weekend so rowers, swimmers, walkers, joggers, dogs swimming and much enhanced boat traffic and to be honest for one weekend they can keep it as far as I am concerned     
 
Sunday 16th August "A" Section
 
Wonder of wonders we are starting to see some Roach for the first time in several years, however, once again a sense of mourning looms over the club as Senior Sicknote climbs from his atmosphere controlled bubble and won, yes won, the match. So thats it, lights off, turn to hard liquor, sell the gear, get the dust off the clubs and leave. Mick has regained his fishing ability, a bit, and has most definitely drawn like a hero since his return from hols, he had peg 12 Sunday, which, on current form, is the winner if any sort of angler draws it. However to Micks credit He attacked it with seed and the old favourite of Hemp, Wheat and Tares and caught some qualityish Roach and a lot of smaller ones for 10lb 13oz and was miles ahead of me and "The Artist" who had 3lb 14oz each for joint second. I had the Roach in front of me for an hour between 11.00 and 12.00 and then 5 boats turned up in a line all over the bit where the Roach were and that was the end of that.
 
"The Artist" on the other hand had the traditional worm net of Eels and small Perch. Moaner, on the other hand, drew his favourite peg 18 (slightly better than 16 which is worse) and managed 3lb 11oz but without many Roach, I struggle with what has happened to 18 as it was, up to 2 years ago THE peg to draw and now it is just so so good for a place but rarely a win.
 
After Moaner we welcomed back from strafing Johny foreigner in exotic locations, Bombardier Pankhurst,strike command CEO, who true to form launched an early 6 ball fusillade at the Roach/Dace in his swim who promptly stated "stuff that" and pushed off to Seniors swim, job done
 
Having not joined in this season it was nice to see Nigel in full bleaking form with a net of 2lb 7oz of mainly small stuff, i.e 2,000 bleak, he will return for a further go once the bombing season is over. DNW weighed 1lb 12oz from the dreaded peg16 having been instructed in its usage by Moaner, DNW then managed to lock his car keys in his car which happens with Fords apparrently, either that or the car decided to take a stand as it was fed up with being driven into meadowed areas having forgotton half of the fishing tackle required, actually he is improving and there were no reports of forgotten Poles,Rods, bait or anything else this week.
 
Tom "I'm not a miner" Myring did for Grandad again, Mini me drew his so called favourite Peg 1, got hammered by peg 2 and packed up before the end in disgust noting "no Roach in this river" which lost its way as a comment when Senior weighed in nearly 11lb of them.Tom managed 15oz from peg11 and having the next peg to the winner perhaps should have tried the seed rather than maggot, but it is not an easy bait to fish without having had a lot of practice.
 
Hopefully, as August draws to a close, us anglers will get a couple of nice weather months without so many boats and with the roach having a bit of a go on seed, perfect world stuff I know but at last it does look as though there is a sufficient head of Roach to offer the odd good day.
 
Final thought, I have now had confimation that the HAJAC teams of 4 practice and main match are scheduled for 6th and 13th September respectively so we shall be looking to see what teams the St Ives crew can muster, espeicially as the "B" team stuffed the "A" team last year and managed a very creditable 2nd place.Last years much crowing about that will need sorting out this year, hopefully!!!!!!!!
                                                                                     
 
                                                                                                                                                                      
    
Sunday 9th August "B" Section
 
The match was moved from Meadow Lane as we had the usually welcome phenomina of a summer flood, well, put it this way, the river was running hard and there was a tinge of colour for the first time all season. the Lane would have been a nightmare as there is a lack of deep swims and very little slack in any of the swims. 8 fished again so good turn out, Mini Me returned refreshed from his Welsh mining conference and with a shout of "HI HOOOOOOOOOOOOO" proceeded to his peg which was peg1 opposite the rowing club with his fellow muck spreader, Compo in 2. Ray saw a Tench roll and that was it he had 1 lost 1 or 2 depending on whether you talk to Ray or Compo and weighed 4lb 13oz which on recent Sundays would have framed but today not even close.
 
Compo managed 9lb in 1 with skimmers and a couple of Eels caught early and not good for the last couple of hours, even 9lb not framing today. next was Senior and me in the bay. I got the peg no one wanted too far into the bay 4/5ft of water and lots and lots of weed, I also fished like a numpty with 3 lost fish all at the net when the hook pulled ,no breaks , just pull outs, 1 I will stand but 3 is stupid. It would'nt have mattered so much if they had been Roach or Dace but they were in order a big skimmer ,2lb a big Bream,4lb and a Tench,4lb. I weighed 7lb 2oz with 2 Bream an Eel and a skimmer and threw 10lb back and NO I don't want to talk about it. What made it worse was that Senior who really should have won the match, had a great swim next to me and promptly had a Tench, a proper Bream, skimmers and Perch plus a couple of Roach for 12lb 2oz and third, he keeps going on about his beating me out of sight since his return and something about walking on water because he is that good now, So, just for Senior, NO Arsenal won't win the league and I have won 5 matches this year so na na na nah nah. Albeit I admit you were only present at one of the victories.
 
There was also fish further up with 4 fishing around Church Hole and the Sea scouts, Nevey turned up and watched all around him catch Bream and tench with a level 2lb it was not his day either. Young Tom "I'm not a miner" Myring stuffed Grandad out of sight with 9lb 10oz with 1 proper Bream and a few skimmers with the usual one that got away story and a big Bream lost. Moaner was not unhappy, no point using the happy word he would not know what it meant, so in a state of less unhappiness with his draw Moaner had a lot of skimmers on tip for 13lb 7oz and second. This of course leaves Mr end peg. again, Breamy having a grand day out with 4 big Tench and a few bits for 22lbs and the win and yes the Tench averaged 5lbs a piece. Based on the win and that he caught Bream last Thursday I have allowed Breamy to keep his nickname, at least for one more week.
 
Notable absenses, DNW who did send in a note for Teacher something about relatives and "Hi ho Silver away" swords a swishing, you know usual DNW stuff, Nessy also a no show, to much dew on the grass slowed him down, its not easy being 2 feet high and not owning any stilts.
 
This week , Thursdays now having finished for another year, we are on "A" sunday and praying for some more rain as I have already seen that the water is back to clear on the quay walking to work this morning, so rain dances everyone.             
 
 
6th August "A" Section
 
Last round of the Coote cup and if the weather was any thing to go by I think God was trying to tell us something. Astoundingly, 8 idiots turned up to fish in rain of biblical proportions, I was expecting frogs and Locusts to follow after the rain stopped but it did not stop, last time I fished in weather like this was the, now famous for its rain, trip to Ireland with Breamy, Compo and Mr Crabtree last year.
 
However having slagged off the weather it is fair to say that those who thought to get the feeder rod out were rewarded by the odd Bream and I dare say if the stream picks up and we get some colour the Bream could be good to go by Sunday. the problem with a flush through/flood in summer is that all the weed, which has started to die off, decides to go walk about and any fishing becomes difficult as your line if festooned with the stuff. Thusday started well enough, despite the rain, Senior in peg1 was catching Moaner in 18,again also and DNW doing what DNW does best , mainly small fish, Breamy's little eyes lit up at the prospect of the feeder rod coming out and I, on peg10 which I do not like had some nice Roach and a couple of proper Dace plus some Perch on a worm line for a couple of lb in the first hour and it all looked peachy. Then it picked up more and more rain and stronger and stronger flow meant the feeder boys won out on choice of fishing weapon.
 
Spotty had turned out for another outing and like me failed to produce the feeder rod and had 2lb from peg 8. Compo on 2 disappeared into the murk and I never even heard or saw him go, but no bodies floated by so I assume he went home early as a DNW. Senior had some nice Perch for 4lbish and third place with Breamy catching 2 and missing several for 8lb 3oz and second place, but, as forecasted recently Moaner in 18 had 3 Bream and lost one for 8lb 12oz and the win and vey wet as he waded in on 18, as you do, and soaked without the aid of an umbrella
 
All out was shouted at 8.45 by which pointed with no windscreen wipers on my glasses and it being black I could hardly see the scales to weigh in but thats the last Thursday so its back to Sundays only. This Sunday we were on Meadow Lane as I write this the river on the Quay outside my office is bombing through with colour and Meadow Lane would be unfishable. Anyone fishing Sunday should give me a call at the weekend because I think it will be a divert to "B" Section as hopes of the Bream feeding begin to cut in
 
 
 
Small but scary bit
 
I decided that the river would be a nice place to be mid week and Wednesday I fished opposite the rowing club on the meadow in the deeps. to be fair it was a nice days fishing big waggler and lots of small Roach up to nearly 5oz on maggot, they did not want wheat or hemp. All was fine until 1.00 o clock when to my horror the gates of the rowing club were thrown open and lots of children proceeded into small rowing boats and then into the river for a swim. They went backwards and forewards over my line for 2.5 hours screaming and shouting and rowing all of which fish love, of course., The adults were worse than the kids with various grown ups throwing thmeselves and other small children into the river and I just looked on with a steely eyed fixed grimace on my face. Dear reader I did not say one word(out loud that is) but, come on, a Wednesday afternoon. The ridiculus thing is that I still had the odd Roach while this was going on and when they had all drunk enough of the river and got themselves and their boats out of the water I started to catch again, 11 feet deep is definately the key to all this clear water malarky. In the last half an hour 15 Roach came to the, well, not net they were'nt that big but at 2 to 4oz a shout it would'nt take long to build a match weight.
 
I heard one rower referring to signing "the medical release forms" I assume that is to safeguard the rowing club from whatever mutations the youngsters will suffer from in the future, as much as I love the river I would not want to swim in it because I have seen what goes into the water, still, if they mutate to webbed feet and hands they will be quicker swimming than rowing so a win win situation for us. 
 
So in summary, not only has there been a plague of ladybirds this year but also a major spawning of junior rowers who actively watch the adult version and act just like them, I should say some and not all, when it comes to respecting other river users.       
 
 
Sunday 2nd August "A" Section
 
Steady numbers again for Sundays match with 8 fishing, the mighty mini me Myring absent due to a Dwarves mining conference in mid wales with Snow White as guest speaker and all the chairs in the room very low to the floor, nicked from the local infant school.
 
Moaner starting the day with his usual " we're all doomed" speech or in this case "it will be small fish only lads" and very true as it turned out. He then moaned again because he drew peg 18 which I assume was because it was near to peg 16 which he hates but in my view 18 still remains one of the nicest pegs on the river. Nes had the famous 16 and hated it on Moaners behalf, solidarity from the other wee man. So starting at that end Moaner managed some Perch and had a few Roach for 3lb 9oz which on the day was good enough for 2nd place, yes it was hard, with Nes throwing his 15 small fish back in disgust for a DNW. Next was me on probably the best peg, 12, Moaner then moaned further re I was fishing in an aquarium and it was'nt fair etc etc etc, god he goes on and on and on. Well suffice to say my 6lb 14oz paralysed the match so in your face Senior, well I would say that would'nt I, after the last couple of results. Small Skimmers for a good 3 hours and some Roach as well including a few on wheat, but the key was Bronze maggot as the fish came to single mag over small nuggets of groundbait with loose fed wheat and hemp and no loose fed maggot which kept the Bleak away. a really enjoyable match except for the boats. It was ridiculous the rowing club had a good dozen boats out on the river passing in convey hitting both banks, trees, and each other, in fact in front of me 4 of them converged for a major pile up which was only averted when I shouted for them to watch out although I was sorely tempted to keep quite just to see what happened however I had visions of 4 rowers all swimming in my swim. 
 
Then we had the hired cruisers from Huntingdon and Houghton, now, I'm all in favour of challenged individuals enjoying the open air but not  operating large machinery which don't have brakes, Having watched several track suited large gentlemen in vests and drinking cans of Stella slalom past at 30 mph with all 22 members of their family on board or dangling over the side, only the under 3's are allowed to dangle apparently, I came to the conclusion that the only qualification to drive a boat was the ability to dribble from both sides of the mouth at once proving that you were, at least, level headed and able to stand upright because your knuckles firmly resting on the floor gave you extra stability. Lots of boat owners are really good with us anglers and slow down and try to get as far away as possible but August is silly season and we had them all plus the "its sunny I want to start rowing brigade". I hate August on the rivers.
 
Enough ranting, next up DNW, peg11 good peg but apparently not when DNW is in it, he had a few and struggled to 1lb 5oz, in peg 10 was "the artist" breamless again even though he had the tip ripped off the rod rest just when he was'nt looking as usual, happy that he beat DNW with 1lb 10oz but not in the money which ruins his week and heavily curtails his fag consumption at least until Thursday night. Nevey came in as a late sub for mini me and promptly DNW'd from peg 8, it is a really good Perch peg when we have low light and warm weather, bright sunshine and a nasty downstream wind , as usual, do not help one bit            
 
 
On 1 and 2 was Compo and Senior, legends both, well at least in the medical books that is, Compo is now officially older than that Galapagos Island Tortoise and Senior is personally responsible for half of the NHS budget for the whole country. Compo left early something about the call of the carrot and "I'm not sitting here for 5 hours for 6 fish" which I find interesting because he struggles after counting to 5 normally as he has to take his other fingerless glove off then. Senior is maintaining form with 2lb 8oz for 3rd with one big Perch and small bits, he enjoyed the swim and I agree the fish are there but you can near enough see the bottom right across the river, a bit of colour and it would so different and so much better, hopefully Autumn Sept/Oct will be the time.
 
Thursday on "A" is the last Coote Cup match but we might have another one or two matches depending on how the light holds up once it dips below 9.00 there is not enough time to fish a meaningful match.   
 
 
 
Thursday 30th July "A" Section
 
Firstly don't shoot the piano player but I have left the results at home so this is being done on memory alone and without the aid of a safety net.
 
Lovely low light values all day until spot on 6.30 and glorious sunshine which not unwelcome in that it is summer and we should at least get some, but just not on Thursdays after 6.30 or Sundays before 1.00. Firstly DNW DNfish weakish text about can't make it, still in bed etc etc. Still 8 fished good turnout again but the problem on a Thursday is the light going so we all packed onto the top bit of "A" and not Nobles much to Breamy's disgust, yes , he caught oneish last night so he gets the name back until Sunday at least.
 
Hard work all round to be fair MIni Me swam out into peg 18 beating his pet Pike off with a bank stick and then catching a couple of pound of bits. Moaner drew his ever favourite peg 16( he hates it) nearly 3lb of bits again and moaning a lot, as usual. Further up Mr Golden Arm Andrews drew well again and managed 2nd with 4lb plus, again, for more coin and beating me for the third match running, so well done Mick say I with much nashing of teeth. this cannot go on.
 
Young Myring on peg11 also picked up a couple of pound of Perch and was the only one who saw a Tench roll which would have won the match if landed however, probably, for the first time this season on a Thursday, not one Tench was hooked let alone landed. Compo had a few Roach on wheat but not enough, I drew peg 8 , good peg, a couple of pound of Perch but no bonus stuff Eels. Big Perch or Tench, the trouble is its a good swim for bonus fish and worm and castor does the damage close in so you keep doing it and afterwards know you should have used the waggler and caught small bits on the far side which were there in abundance but very small, in fact the Perch in my net thought they were at the Perchy equivalent of McDonalds with 7/8 small dace and Bleak in the net.
 
Nes was on peg 2 and Breamy, not wanting to be, on peg1, god he did moan "I don't want peg 1 its c**p I'm going to fish Nobles instead whah whah whah" toys all out of pram with the dummy and comforter and then what happens he wins from peg 1 and all is sweetness and light not such a bad swim all of a sudden. So "Breamy" gets 5lb and bits which is more than Seniors 4lb and bits. Nes managed a couple same as most of us but the river started to run later and it might have had some of the recent rains in it.
 
Sunday we are on "A" Section with Nevey and DNW a book in on top of the 8 there last night we will have to use Nobles as well.
 
 
A further bit
 
It has been pointed out to me that I forgot to mention Senior turning up eating his porridge Sunday morning, I know these 4x4's are well equipped but a Chef in the back making your breakfast is a bit over the top, Thursday we expect pancakes cooked at our peg by Gordon or Jamie depending on who Senior has employed in the back of the Landrover for the evening, next to his on call medical team I assume the car is getting a bit crowded. 
 
Sunday 26th July "B" Section
 
Blimey, 10 to fish we nearly ran out of swims, at the draw we had 1 new recruit in John Whitehead who will now be formally known as Spotty just because he needs a nickname and you never know he might turn up again and its easy to remember. The light was ok the stream was running and where do I draw, in the bay thats where, just where I did not want next to DNW on the worse than me side and "the Artist formerly known as" on the other side who went to his swim swishing to clear a few reeds and then performed a mad dervish dance for 10 minutes as the wasps in their nice nest, who had been quietly admiring the view up to that point, had their breakfast disturbed by the ex Breamy man and decided to make their opinions clear on the matter   
 
I wanted to be in the deeps opposite the rowing club, 10 to 12 ft of water when it is as clear as a bell is the place to be, so the prime swims went to Senior, he even had a platform as well and looked very comfortable with his 3 piece suite yes I mean armchairs and all, pipe and smoking jacket, Spotty and Moaner with Compo in the next swim that "no one in all my years at the club has ever won a match from" and guess what, he's right and they still have'nt won from it. Mini me had what I thought was a good swim next one down but proved to be full of weed and so he managed 2lb 10 oz with the usual Myring Pike taking fish, I have a theory that this Pike follows Ray up and down the meadow in the vague hope that he falls in as he is the only bite sized angler we have ( not true Nes is the same size and come to that if "The artist" fell in he would just float back out and on to the bank).
 
Senior has had a two for two experience in that he has fished 2 matches and came second each time, the sicknote supremo had an enjoyable day with 6lb 1oz of small silvers on the waggler, Moaner won it on the next peg with a big Tench and Eel on the worm and some late Roach on the waggler for a good 9lb 8oz that breaks the poor spell for moaner and I dare say he will now go on for several weeks winning everything as that seems to be how it happens. In between Spotty had held the lead for at least 10 minutes with a small Perch but then somewhat lost his way and ended up walking the bank with the old its just nice to be out in the nice weather adage that never worked when we use it and won't work for another even if he is a newby. Compo, 3 Perch, worse days fishing in his life, and don't forget this is a very long 164 years we are talking, he seems to forget that he has won lots and lots this year and had been really ticking me off, usual level of sympathy there then.
 
The Artist had a couple of goodish Perch on worm and then nothing with a couple of silvers late on for 2lb 2oz, I despaired for 3 hours then tried the far side, which is a long way a way in the bay, and had a Rudd on a lobworm tail, out came the waggler and for 40 minutes I had a bite a chuck then the boats came, many and varied and all right over the far side and ruined any chance of that working, still I managed 2lb 2oz to draw with the artist when really I did'nt think I was going to get a bite let alone a few fish. DNW DNW nuff said other than he forgot his Castors, surprised, not.
 
Further up young Tom Myring struggled for a few oz but height restricted Nes managed 2lb 12 oz of Perch for third and lost a Tench just to make his day. All in all hard work but a few silvers are showing Seed is still not working and they seem to be coming to maggot if anything. Thursday "A" section and as always we shall see. I assume by next Sunday we will have to start taking a bus to the matches as so many want to fish.
 
Oh what it is to be famous dear reader  
 
   
 
Thursday 23rd July "A" Section
 
8 fished, its getting more like a real match every week, excellent turnout with the return of Senior Sicknote and the young Neve having a go for a change. We decided that it would all be fished on "A" with no one on Nobles, two problems, firstly half a dozen people swimming in peg 18 at 7.00 at night, madder than us I think and secondly a complete horlicks of a down stream wind which ruined waggler presentation and long pole options for most.
 
So after much discussion of Seniors latest illnesses and Compo telling everyone if you submerge yourself daily in good quality compost you will never have a days illness in your life, mainly because you don't live very long I assume, we drew and went off, discovered the swimmers and had to switch Neve and Moaner to peg 7 and 15 neither of which we would have fished by choice. The match was not great however the odd high spot such as Mini Me Myring winning old school style on the Waggler from peg 12 with 6lb 9oz mainly Roach and small skimmers plus one or two chublet and one big Perch, Horror of horrors second and highly delighted was Senior with 5lb 9oz one Tench and some Perch on the worm from peg11, numpty boy lost two more Tench which would have walked him the match but he was happy with second and a bit of coin. It did'nt help that I was in the next peg and he beat me, once again I left it late with a tench in the last 10 minutes and very little else, I do not like peg 10 it is shallow and weedy and there is not a good Perch line anywhere,it was a 3 hour struggle for 4lb 2oz and third.
 
Moaner had a few on peg 15 and hooked a very handy 10lb Pike in the last 5 minutes that did not count thats 3 bad ones in a row for him and I do sympathise as that was me this time last year. The compost maister had peg 8 AGAIN and failed to score with a couple of pound only and after that young Neve, and DNW had a few but only a few and Breamy had a couple of lb but lost a Tench which, I'm sure this should be the headline, snapped him up, I can only assume the fish was driving a truck because nothing, and I do mean nothing, breaks Breamy's line without a set of bolt cutters.
 
The childrens match on Wednesday was also good fun and showed us that there are some silvers around the deep water opposite the rowing club so on Sunday we will have three up there and a few in the bay plus if numbers require some opposite the Church. It would be nice to have a back wind or less wind for once that includes the unnatural type from Compo and Senior.
 
  
Sunday 19th July Ivo lake
 
I fished the lake last Wednesday just to ensure the fish were feeding, nice days fishing, 15lb of Roach and Rudd on wheat and 1 big slab, 6.5lbs also on wheat, for 20lb plus so Sunday was much anticipated. Guess what, it was terrible, the rain 2 days before had killed any chance of seed sport and nobody hardly had a bite on the stuff despite many turning up carrying dustbins of the stuff, the chance to catch Roach on seed like the old days was to much of an opportunity to miss. The match went as thus Compo,again, first place 5lb 7oz with 1 big skimmer 1 big Eel and some Roach (small) in the last 2 hours with Breamy at 2lb 5oz for second and DNW at 2lb 2oz for third, me and Moaner failing badly with moaner managing to lose a big slab and even tip a 2lb Eel out of his landing net back into the lake, class, he has had a bad 2 matches with lost fish and now throwing them back as well, but we all have these periods when nothing goes right, Senior Andrews is in his 53rd year of a very bad run for instance.
 
I really do not know why we did not get more but the bailiff said he had caught well on seed Tuesday and then nothing on Thursday so something killed it and very quickly too.
 
"A" Section Thursday night with hopes of Roach and other fish as well, fishing into dusk and very early morning are the only options until we get some water through the system and "A" is a different fishery on a Thursday evening than it is currently on a Sunday morning.
 
The attendance of Senior gets ever closer, let the games begin.
 
Just a final thought the very old Water Lily Cup is being fished by juniors on Wednesday evening on "B" Section, it is great to see this old cup and its sister event The Claude Smith Cup still taking place each year. The worry are the numbers lst year it was barely half a dozen for each, when I fished for these cups we had 30 on the bank but this was pre computer days in fact pre most things it was that long ago. I would like to give Pete Milburn a mention who runs the junior events, buys the prizes etc, thanks for all your time and effort Pete.       
 
 
Thursday 16th July "A" Section
 
Wonder of wonders, there are some Roach about, not that many and not that big but there are some. The weather was spot on for Tench and  Bream so of course most of us did'nt see much of either. Moaner and myself were on Nobles where Moaner should and I repeat should have paralysed the match because he hooked 3 yes 3 Tench and lost them all, numpty, so he had 2 Perch and a big fat DNW when he should have had 12lb plus, next to him and in the least favoured Nobles platform I missed 3 bites which all looked a bit Perchy but loo and behold last 5 minutes a 3lb 9oz Bream came to my rescue, oh how I laughed and Moaner had to say well done through teeth so gritted I could hear them grinding to dust.
 
Up the top end it was a different game plan and result, mini me Myring on his favourite waggler peg 12 had 2lb 12oz of Roach and Dace on wheat but lost as much again due to Pike in his swim, according to him there were so many that they were driving around in cars wearing leather coats with the collars up mugging defenceless Roach and Dace, vivid imagination has our resident height restricted angler. Breamy was all smiles even though it was dark when we got him on peg 11, he had a mixed bag on maggot Dace, Roach, Skimmers, Perch and Bleak for a very good 7lb 13oz and second place which he thought was first place until we got to Compo on peg 8. The 164 year old compost producer of the year, personal compost that is, had a mixed bag with some Perch and a smallish Tench on the worm line with some Roach on wheat later on to top the bag up to 8lb 4oz, good weights for less than 3 hour match on a gin clear river, low light having made all the difference.
 
DNW, DNshow went to a Carp puddle, thats any chance of a good nickname gone for a long time traitor that he is, Senior is not back still and Nes finally succumbed to not being able to see over his stearing wheel and cannot come out again until his mum restuffs his driving cushion and cuts him new wood blocks to fix on his feet.
 
However we do expect a grand turn out on Sunday based on no boats no cars sheltered lake and lazy anglers, We, as always, shall see        
 
A very little bit
 
Gordy has kindly given permission for the match on Sunday, so the Ivo is on, I'm going to have a few hours on it tomorrow to see if there is anything to be had. Sunday draw at 7.00 meet at the Ivo lake just past Mick George's still skipping place.  
 
 
Sunday 19th July "A" Section
 
Cloudy and mild, well for about 30 minutes then hot and sunny, water was running through from last nights rain and new cold water in a river system plus still gin clear, yes I know broken record time, 5 fished absentees Moaner working, Senior Caravanning, DNW oversleeping, DNW will not be getting his new swashbuckling knickname if he keeps this up. I even had a text at 6.40 telling me he was still all warm and snuggled up in bed, sad thats what it is sad.
 
Nes was in 18 same as last week but fishing was much harder the wind was a pig all day and small Dace are difficult to hit at the best of times so he managed 2lb 2oz, Compo was on peg12 and had some silvers for 3lb 5oz for second place but again as he put it "a rock hard fishing day" Mini me chucked a lb back with nothing on seed and much moaning. Breamy was on the back of a win and in peg 8 where he recorded said win on Thursday but struggled to 2lb 7oz for third. I was , for the second week running on peg 1 and started really well for the first hour before the wind really got up and while the river only iddled through, 15 fish in the first hour, 10 Perch on worm and a few silvers on the waggler, I was going to empty the place, then the river ran, hard, the wind blew,hard and my pole started to resemble a bananna, every chuck with a feeder was covered in streamer weed and I was an unhappy bunny. However later the river slowed and the silvers came back out , nothing big and not many but just enough to keep me interested. Final weigh 3lb15oz for the win oh happy day.
 
Unfortunately I cannot find much to comment on other than that because for 2 weeks I have been isolated as Larry the Leper in peg 1 where I cannot see anyone let alone talk to them or hear what they are saying. Hopefully a more sociable draw will be enjoyed next week. I am hoping that we will be having a go in the Ivo lake, assuming that big Gordy says its ok, the river is being hijacked by the Dragon boat races Sunday and we do not want to be within several miles of the noise and disturbance that will bring.
 
SO contact me for confimation but if its on it will be at the Ivo for a 7.00 clock draw and hopefully the Roach and Rudd will be feeding.
 
Lastly very shortly rumour has it in a cinema near you "The return of the Andrew Sister, now its personal" starting in the next 2 weeks,maybe if his medication is sorted and he can be bothered to get up or even come back from deepest darkest Cornwall, oh how we have missed the 3 hours travel to his peg and his further 3 hour set up time plus the ability to blame everything and everyone for his not winning, watch this space.       
 
 
 
Thursday 9th July "A" Section
 
All day the light was low dark clouds a hint of rain and everything set for a few Tench, Perch or Bream and the what happens, God decides we will all have a really sunny pleasent evening with a nasty North Westerly wind and of course the fish, well the big fish, don't want to know. 6 fished, 3 on Nobles plus pegs 8, 11 and 12 so everyone had a chance. On Nobles me, Compo and Nes, Compo has a Bream of 1lb 13oz early doors and that was it I had 2 Eels and a Perch for 1lb 4oz and Nes the numpty loses a big Tench at the net, Compo had not realised that the new platforms were big enough to roll about laughing on until that point. Of course we were sympathetic, NOT and the best bit was he then  became a DNW, harsh I know. Nes has lost at least 1 big fish, Bream or Tench, in the last 3 matches and its costing him money.
 
At the top end we had "have'nt caught anything" DNW with 3lb 4oz briefly in the lead until Mini Me Myring with a real novelty 3lb 14oz of Wheat caught small Roach and Dace, yes, silver fish do still live in our waters, not many and they all live in peg 11 on the Big meadow but its a start. Finally after much name calling and a poor start to the season, our very own, Breamy Ashcroft on peg 8, good peg full of Perch last week and full of Perch this week with 6lb 7oz for his first win of the season plus a couple of snotties, which he hates in a very girly way. 
 
So that was the fun for another Thursday, its a change of venue for Sunday so for any readers who are fishing we are going onto "B" Section not Meadow Lane as advertised, the rationale being that shallow, weedy and clear are not a great combination so we intend to fish the last few pegs in the bay and Church Hole as you can find 7/8ft of water and hopefully a few proper fish but as always we will see and nothing surprises me anymore.    
 
Sunday 5th July "A" Section
 
Difficult choice on Sunday, boats and very clear water with very little flow so based on Thursday night we decided "A" section rather than "B" with 7 fishing, mini me being substituted due to height restrictions or family barbecue one or the other, Young Neve came in as a replacement which I suppose constitutes two replacements for mini me because he is twice as tall. The match was stretched out with peg 1 to 18 being used. The winner was mighty moaner who managed a Tench plus some Perch, that would be worm then, for 6lb 12oz from peg 16 with the other vertically changed member Nes second from 18 with 4lb 2oz of bits but mainly Perch. I managed third from peg 1 with 3lb 14oz and masochist that I am I quite enjoyed the last 3 hours as I was catching small bits on the waggler line in 7 feet of clear water which is a bit of a novelty this year with so much weed about. I even had 7/8 small Roach plus some Dace and the inevitable Perch on the worm line but no bonus fish which made the difference.
 
As to the other players, Compo left stage left early again not feeling so well so I assume the allotment was not the next port of call for him. Breamy caught a Tench and very little else but apparently had caught a biggish Eel which accordingly to Breamy managed to climb out of his landing net up the pole it was attached to and with a final triple axel with Pike entered the water with barely a ripple with a big grin on its face. He weighed 3lb 5oz so it was a very small Tench and still no win for Breamy despite his protestations of winning every time at Abbots Ripton but as was pointed out on Sunday and last Thursday, St Ives is the real world with proper anglers so no browny points until he wins in our matches and the Michael will continue to be extracted.
 
The mercuriel Nevo turned up again, I think he got lost heading towards Meadow Lane and managed 1 good Perch at 1 and a half lbs but not a lot else for 2lb 8oz. Then there was DNW who had texted me asking for a name change due to his early form, which I would note had not actually contained a win but a couple of places in the lower order, so the mighty Zorresk DNW managed 1lb 0oz so sorry Jon you are stuck with it and will be until at least 2 wins have been recorded and your request to be known as "who was that masked man" will then be considered, laughed at and thrown out, as usual.
 
Apparently Senior Andrews is lost in Devon or Cornwall towing a caravan that contains all of his medication so much in fact that he has to sleep in the car. He returns hopefully to fishing at some point in the next few weeks, we have all missed taking his money but on the upside with SAS away we have managed to leave most venues within an hour of the final whistle and not the 3 hours it takes when he is fishing.
 
Thursday we will stay on "A" Section and next Sunday is supposedly down the Lane but we shall see because without rain I think the lane will be desperately hard.  
 
 
 
Thursday 2nd July "A" Section
 
Considering the state of the water and the brightness of sunshine "A" section fished relatively well, its actually getting quite crowded on a Thursday night with 7 fishing. At the draw myself, Moaner and Mini Me Myring headed off to Nobles whilst the Nes, Breamy, Compo and DNW ThemarkofZorrosmallhookmalling fished peg 8,10,11 and 12. Based on last week it was going to all be about the last hour and who got the bonus fish.
 
Down on Nobles Moaner and me firstly had a deweeding match which I won as his cutter never brings any weed in but just leaves it all in my swim as there was very little flow at the start. I on the other hand have developed massive biceps from lifting huge great lumps of the dreaded streamer weed, this is despite the swim I fished having been dragged at least twice in the last couple of weeks which only goes to show how quickly the weed grows and also that it moves with the river flow. Mini me on the next swim swung my rake out twice but had to admit defeat firstly because the rake was bigger than him and secondly that once it had some weed on it was twice his body weight.
 
The lads further up did'nt have the weed problem and so on we went, our end was interesting Moaner has a new pole and so he had to use it, obviously, he had a few bits early doors then lost a Tench having seen one slap the surface in his swim, it was such a delight listening to moaner for the next 15 minutes telling all around how unfair it was and why it was everyone's fault but his, still thats why we call him moaner. Ray in the meantime having stopped thinking the fishing platform was a 5 a side pitch got stuck in to a succession of small Perch but by the end despite his best efforts threw 6 Perch back and did'nt weigh. By the end Moaner had found and landed another Tench but the last 40 minutes was a disaster as the locks opened and it ran hard which is difficult to understand as we have had no rain. I was on the feeder and the running hard bit was accompanied by huge wedges of streamer weed in big bundles which took my line every 2 minutes and yes the language did become "choice" and never mind because I already had 3 big Skimmers and 3 Eels plus a Perch but even better I had the usual late Tench and Moaner was so happy for me he fairly glowed with contentment, he was even more happy when I managed to land the Tench with Rays butterfly net because mine had come apart in the water pushing the Tench out from the pads in front of me.
 
So our end was Ray DNW  Moaner 5lb 8ozish and me 11lb dead for the early lead, Compo on peg 11 had failed to finish although going to the allotment at 9.15 seemed a bit extreme, I think he is hunting rabbits at night with his false teeth. Mini Nes on 12 lost a good Bream 4lbish and that cost him he had one good Bream, some bits and yes a few Roach which I assume he must have bought with him for a 6lb plus bag. Breamy on 10 managed the usual big Skimmer plus Perch and bits for a big 4lb plus. the star of the show at the top end was the dark horse with 2 seconds places running, DNW. to be honest I knew something was up because he was stood on his car roof with his hands on his hips, cape flowing and sword in hand swishing for all he was worth. Nearly 9lb of quality Perch from peg 8 and a good result for the man from Delmonte. Lovely weather some good fish and a few on the bank it can only go down hill from here.
 
Sunday is "B" section meet at the top gate 6.45 for a 7.00 draw, we might even switch to "A" we shall see      
 
Sunday 28th June Meadow Lane
 
So clear and very weedy on the meadow and guess what, clear and weedy down meadow lane, theres a surprise. Very shallow everywhere but there were small fish to be caught and with one or two practitioners of the small fish art among our brethren expectations were still just above average to be fair even with the early morning hot steamy and overcast weather.  8 people fished and I am starting to worry, if many more people turn up we will have to take it seriously, still, it gives an eagerly awaited opportunity to create more worthy nick names.
 
So new among us was the mighty, same height as mini me Myring, Anthony Nesbit. he has just returned from secondment in Charlies chocolate factory for the last few years and Ray now has someone to talk to even if they have to part the grass to see each other. If we can only find 5 more we are in business for pantomime season with Compo in his new role as Tinca bell a 164 year year old troll like fairy that you just would not want at the bottom of your garden. Ian " I like the Lane" Neve also turned up for his by-millenium fishing match, no frequent flyer miles for this lad, match fishes each century, at least once, as the mood takes.
 
As to the match, non event really,  El Compo managed 1 proper Bream and a big skimmer plus a couple of bits for 5lb 14oz and paralysed it. Second was DNW Zorro, left his horse tied up behind him and swashed his buckle with furious effect for 3lb 1oz. What worries me about Jon, yes, he does have a real name, is that he thinks these sort of matches are great and he enjoys them, the man is as mad as a box of frogs but he's happy and he takes money home more often than not when he fishes the Lane. So. a swish of the cape and he was gone, shouting " Hi Ho Silver lining" yet again nearly correct and closer than usual to the proper words.
 
Third was the new mini me's mate the Nes with one big skimmer and a few bits for 2lb 13oz, so well done on his opening effort, we had to pay him in notes because the cash was to heavy and his pockets would have dragged on the floor.
 
The rest, me included, sort of 2lbsish, Breamy swore, a lot, Moaner walked the bank in disgust and I just got fed up with catching weed despite a 20 minute rake before I started.
 
Not a Roach to be seen a few small chublet and a lot of little Dace with the odd Perch and Eel, not exactly eating you up with excitement stuff  but it was a day out and the sun did shine later which in fact ruined what sport we had had up to that point.
 
Thursday "A" section and a forecast of 28 degrees, I shall obviously attend  riding the company camel and if it gets much hotter I shall be wearing full Arab robes. Compo wears his all year round because he likes doing his trousers up with a rope, its a troll thing. Compo is now 3 wins in a row and Breamy can no longer talk about it without being reduced to tears. Never mind Paul it must be your turn soon          
 
 
Thursday 25th June "A" section
 
Fishing the river at the moment comes with a certain trepidation, you just do not know what to expect, its gin clear in fact so clear I am seriously thinking cleaner than tap water as previously mentioned plus you just do not see hardly any fish rising, except this year there is a prodigious amount of fry because we have not had the usual summer flood as per the last 3 years and the spawn and fry have not been swept away. who knows, a couple of seasons from now we may get some of our roach shoals back.
 
As to the fishing, 5 attended, Senior Andrews is now on a 3 and a half week SAGA caravan holiday apparently visiting various old peoples homes in Southern England to assess for his own use in the near future. On the other hand DNW had a bad back, now, I have warned him about all the sword swishing and swashbuckling but he would'nt listen and now look at him. Compo on the other hand has invaded Germany for the week and on the asumption that they knew he was coming I presume all the Germans have left the country and are on holiday else where until it is safe to go home, about Friday would be right I think 
 
We spread out a bit with 3 on Nobles and myself and "mini me" Myring on pegs 11 and 12 respectively, Breamy, Moaner Mcgregor and Mr Crabtree on Nobles. The mighty atom could not buy a bite and I was struggling until I noticed fish topping right over the other side and I shallowed up and went for them. It was fun small bits Perch Rudd Roach and even 1 skimmer plus a few Bleak kept things ticking over.
 
Ray struggled with the odd Rudd and then the sun dipped and about 8 our bit of water darkened and the fish turned up. Firstly I went over my close in worm and castor line and had 10 small to mid size Perch in short order. Ray then had a Bream about 2.5lbs and managed to snap up on a small Chub. Much cursing and language he would never use at home followed until he tackled up again and then he proceeded to get bites and a few more until the whistle went at 9.30. I had about 4.5 lbs of bits and Perch and knew it would'nt be enough but at 9.25 I hooked a turbo charged Tench which I played and landed over the next 5 or 6 minutes, 6lb 1oz a beautiful golden fish and truly in magnificent condition.
 
At the end I weighed 10lb 6oz and Ray 4lb 7oz, down in Nobles, Moaner managed 3 big Skimmers for 7lb 3oz and Breamy had 3 smaller Skimmers and a small Tench for 7lb 2oz, much to Moaners delight of course, yet another week without fags what will Breamy do. Mr Crabtree had the worse of the 3 swims and had one big skimmer which he threw back.
 
We were leaving the meadow at 10.00 and the water was alive with fish but I still maintain that unless we get dark humid days the fishing will not improve until the river flushes through with some flood water but hopefully not to much.
 
This Sunday is Meadow Lane and rumour has it that the whole stretch is one large weed bed, so rakes required but who knows such is the fun of the thing or not as the case maybe, in fact, ask Breamy he will tell you in lots of nice words what he thinks of it so far, Compo beat hin twice and when Compo has gone away I beat him, it can only get better Paul.          
 
 
 
Sunday 21st June "B" section
 
5 fished and if the water gets any clearer will shall start selling it to clean the tap water with. We had 3 in the bay on the new platforms and very good they are Compo wanted to build a cottage on his and sell it as a water bungalow. Breamy and me watched Compo catch 4 Tench and a big Perch of about one and a half pounds, he even lost another Tench and missed a couple of bites as well, Breamy did not get a bite and I after waiting 4 hours finally got what was my first bite of the new season in matches only to find it was my usual Pike which took one look at me and bit through the line, I then had one more bite in the last hour but by then Breamy and me had lost the will to live watching Compo take the money for the second time, the 4 Tench and 1 Perch weighed 20lb 2oz with the biggest Tench going 5lb 14oz, good fish and all in great condition as well.
 
On Church hole Moaner McGregor got among the Bream early and late in the match for 18lb 10oz and lost a couple which would have hauled in Compo but thats fishing. Senior Andrews had a rare outing since he has now turned into Alan Titchmarsh but he managed a Tench and a few bits for 6lb ish. Senior even caught a small Roach which is now so rare we had to look it up in the history books to identify the fish.
 
2 matches in and Compo the hobbit is earning a new nickname, he wants to be known as Tinca man but this being a place where they never get what they want, we are going to call him Tinkabell, next week we are having a whip round to buy him his first Tutu, that will teach him to win 2 in a row.
 
Next Sunday, Meadow Lane, I have been told you have to turn right before you get to Mick George's road and it has a sign post, Meadow Lane last year was the only section where silver fish were found in reasonable quantities but on the assumption the black death will have found them by now I will reserve judgement.    
 
Thursday 25th we are going on "A" section as "C" is difficult, meet at the Hemingford end gate before 6 and fish 6.30 to dusk, you never know when the light drops it might do a bit, we shall see.
 
 
Thursday 18th June "C" Section
 
With all the usual anticipation 6 turned up for the first Thursday evening, most were there early and much dragging of weed took place during which time I managed to take the skin off 2 fingers and I caught 5 fish in the weed, all little obscure things that would have weird names like Claude and Roland, anyway unfortunately I caught far more with the drag than I did with the pole which only goes to show that 2 rake heads are better at fishing than a very expensive Maver pole.
 
The grand old man was the first weeks winner with 2 Tench for 10lb 2oz, Compo was just below the bridge where there is a bit of a cleaner area two thirds of the way across, for everyone else it was a struggle, Mini me Myring drew closest to the weir and having climbed over the short grass proceeded to record a DNW with nil bites next to him Breamy managed 1 late Tench for second place and nearly 5lb with a small foul hooked Perch Moaner McGregor had a couple of Perch for 10oz and struggled plus DNW Smallhookmallingmarkofzorro, to give him his full name, managed you guessed it a DNW. I drew badly the only peg above the bridge 5ft of water gin clear and loads of nasty weed the only fish I hooked was when I pushed my pole back to stop a cow eating my pole roller and I had a Perch on for a couple of minutes. So there it is 164 year old Northern muck spreader 1 the rest 0, King Compo rules ok
 
Tuesday the glorious 16th June
 
I have just returned from a stag weekend in Magaluf where I have watched so called humans behave with less sense than fish but enough the glorious day has arrived and me and Senior decided that an evening on our new, yes, new platforms opposite Nobles Field was the very thing to do. Firstly such luxury although when Senior produced a carpet, lamp and comfy chair to fish from I thought it was a bit excessive, I, on the other hand made do with the standard 3 piece suite and tea with biscuits just before 7.30. Seriously, they are good and big, Senior parked his Range Rover on his and still had room for his fishing gear 6 mates and a snooker table.
 
Next, the fishing well actually first the dragging of weed, in fact nearly an hour of weed dragging and it was still coming out and both of us were only trying to clear a little bit to get a feeder into. Senior throws a drag like a girl but this was after he hit himself in the chest trod on the rope and nearly threw himself in 3 times. Eventually we had a chuck or two and it was slow, gin clear water hot sun but to be fair we expected slow and it was just good being there. Then our friends from the Rowing club turned up and hostilities were resumed as usual. It was a pleasure to be told that the double scull turning in my swim had to do it because "thats where they always turned" this despite the rest of the very long and really quite wide river not having another boat on it. As it was first day and not a match we took it all in good heart but it made you realise that boat users of all types can and I emphasis the word can be a complete pain in the backside.
 
At 9.00 I had had 1 Perch about 12 oz and an Eel, the mighty sick note Senior had managed 2 Perch and then his quiver tip started to twitch and bend with the massive result of 1 small Bream about a 1lb I then had the same result we both missed a couple and I lost another smallish Bream. I don't doubt that lower light and a bit of colour in the water and a fill your boots scenario may well have developed but it did'nt and we both went home with honours even. During the evening several Tench and Bream rolled and  they are definately on the section but not that hungry yet I think.
 
Thursday is the first evening match and we will be on the "C" section under the bypass with a 6.00 draw fish 6.30 to dusk, on Tuesdays evidence you will undoubtedbly need a drag which will mean Breamy will bring a dragline to shift the whole river let alone just the weed.
 
If you see DNW on his horse riding along the River Cam in Cambridge tell him he has gone to far and turn him back towards St Ives, thanks just be careful when he does all the sword swishing stuff before he rides off.            
 
 
Thursday evening 4th June Ivo Lake
 
First things first, if you look across the Dolphin Meadow currently you will see Enviroment Agency contractors fitting 14 fishing platforms at various points. The club and the EA have both stuck their hands in their pockets and financed these excellent fishing points, so no more waders at least at certain parts of the meadow this season, I would just like to add a sizable thank you to Kye Jerrom from the EA for all his assistance in making this happen. In addition, because I can't help myself, I would like to thank my mother for giving birth to me Senior would like to thank his Guitar for breaking and saving millions of people from deafness, Breamy would like to thank the local steel works for his new feeder and DNW would like to thank god that sometimes a few small fish will win the match but we will talk about that in a minute. Compo on the other hand would not like to thank anyone because he is 164 years old and does not care.
 
So to the fishing, how can I put this, crap. DNW won, yes its 2 in a row, he says its because the lakes are near Meadow Lane the stretch on which he has also won twice,. His 6 small Rudd beat Ian's 5 small Rudd, Compo, Breamy and me nothing zilch, narda ,zero, not so much as a twitch. Breamy was very happy with paying money out to DNW two weeks in a row, he was next to me and the language was terrible it was everyones fault, except his of course. It was glorious, DNW riding into the sunset holding Breamy's money aloft and shouting "all for one and one for all" he had been reading the wrong book again, next week he is coming as the Lone Ranger 
 
10 oz beat 9 oz hardly the stuff of dreams but never mind we are nearly there. The river is clear and stagnant so early and late fishing only I suspect unless we get some rain. The worry this year will be without rain and colour and with a proper hot summer, for once, the Roach would be the target and as we know both of them have gone for a long holiday on the Isle of Wight. So taking bets on the first Thursday results which is on the Holmes meadow, 18th June, meet by the Chub Stream at 5.45 for a prompt draw at 6.00, it will really depend on the weed content and whether the big boy Tench and Bream come out to play from Jones boatyard.
 
Oh and if you look on the quay there are approximately 60 good Bream feeding on the bread thrown to the ducks, all of them have their Hols planned for the 15th June and will be on a flight to Alicante
 
I know it will be rubbish but its still the glorious 16th and will always be a special day.
        
Thursday evening 28th May Ivo lake
 
Little eyes gleaming for the first chuck of the season in anger and 4 managed to turn up, Compo and Mr Crabtree were dabbling in big carp puddles and Senior Sick Note Andrews was rebuilding his garden apparently he wants to ne the next Alan Titchmarsh. So there was DNW who arrived on his horse cape flowing around his mighty 3 inch shoulders drawing big z marks on all the trees he passed and not sure why, as usual he had lost the Zorro book before he got to the reason for the z marks. Big Breamy without 3 of his thermal suits, so down to only two summer thermal suits, any less than this and he has to be tied to his box for health and safety reasons, also made the effort. He had reduced his rod bags to 2 only and left his other 3 in the car. Surprisingly and fresh from big school, Ian " mum said I could play until 6.30" Donaldson turned up, Ian has bought a trolley for his gear so big, he has to put his van on it and carry everything from his house to the lake, seriously we all stood on it and still could'nt reach the sides. Oh and of course me, fresh from pre season glory and no we are not talking about the Champions League and if you do Mick I would remind you that we were that much better than Arsenal in the semi.
 
Fish topping well out a good sized shoal of Bream a few big Carp it all looked so inviting, out went the feeders, worm, castor, maggot, corn and pinkie. Water was thrashed to a foam as usual, Breamy intoduced his new "big" feeder rig, DNW neally fainted when it went in. After the waves had subsided I went to look at the new rig. First feeder I have seen that reminded me of a shark cage, I wondered why he was mixing his ground bait in a cement mixer singing "2 parts sand and 1 cement" he did'nt catch much with it but had built 2 underwater houses before we left.
 
Then, just to amuse us all, the gun club turned up for one of their annual lets take on the rabbits blood fest, well clays really, but the noise was loud and prolonged. SOOOOOOOOO we sat and sat, Ian managed a few small Rudd and with 30 minutes to go was looking a winner. The water is very clear at the moment and it was very sunny BUT when the light starts to fade the fish start to feed, one of the local bailiffs told me that an overnight angler had 120lb of quality Bream a few days ago and we knew they were there because we could see them.
 
It all kicked off in the last 30 minutes Breamy missed several bites and managed an Eel and a Rudd which in both cases I think his feeder landed on and stunned them. I had a Bream of 3lb 5oz and then missed a bite and lost a Bream on the way in,idiot. DNW had the win with the fish of the evening a Tench of 5lb 13oz whereas the early leader Ian weighed 13 oz of mainly small stuff. 
 
So that was that, first go, and it was not great in fact it is unbelievably frustrating to see huge wedges of fish topping just out of reach and 10 foot above where you want them to be until 20 minutes before the end and then you have to go just as the fish have started to get their heads down.
 
Apparently armageddon with the gun club is every 2 weeks so next week we will give it another go and we shall see if the lack of ammo being discharged helps at all.     
 
 
Monday 25th May Ivo and Anderson lakes
 
The mighty Breamy Ashcroft sans new tackle plus DNW and myself turned up with £5 each in the pot and high hopes of a practice prior to the first Thursday match this week. Well, we all got that wrong did'nt we, for a start off we could get on the first spit where the Rudd had been caught recently so we had a hike further round to the so called Bream swims in the far corner of the Ivo. We three then spent a glorious 2.5 hours watching all sorts of big fish cruising the surface on the other side of the lake miles from us, Breamy thrashed the big feeder out to get some bait in and DNW clung on to his box for dear life as the bow wave threatened to move him into the next lake, in fact I think the big fish were on the other side because Breamy washed them there, still, nice to get a good work out in, in fact Breamy had forgotten his trolley and was carrying 3, yes 3, rod bags by the time he had transported all his tackle manually half way round the lake he had lost half a stone and 3 inches in height, don't forget dear reader this is a man who has to be tethered to his box in a medium strength breeze in case he takes off and losing half a stone is a quarter of his body weight.
 
So, bored with that plus the wind changing I said Andersons would be fun for a Rudd bash as I had had 10/12lbs in 2 hours a week previous, I also had the drag in the car so a quick swim clearance took place of 3 swims and on we go, suffice to say I took the Cash again but with 3 Rudd and a Perch hardly the stuff of dreams, oh and the other 2 failed to worry the scorers DNW's both  . Just to make matters worse the guy on the first spit in the Ivo had gone and we had a quick look to see a big shoal of Rudd hanging in the top couple of feet in fact fish everywhere but not in our lake of choice. So it looks good for Silvers for Thursday night with the odd biggee maybe making an appearance later on in the evening.
 
All St Ives members are welcome meet at the Meadow Lane complex gates on the side next to Mick Georges compound, for those who don't know, £8 to fish and thanks to Gordy Howes, the owner, who very kindly has allowed the club access.
 
So 2 things to finish on, firstly I am unbeaten in the pre season friendlies which will no doubt mean I cannot win for love or money when the real hostilities commence and secondly Mick George Skips is that an observation in which case why not jump as well. 
 
Actually, I will add a third observation, how can it possible that any angler needs 3 rod bags.      
 
 
 
Not a bit at all really
 
We have moved forward to mid May and thoughts have begun to turn to the new season on the running rather than the still stuff. However we still intend to have a small series of matches on the Ivo lake with possibly a go in the Crystal Lakes complex as well. I hope to start these matches next Thursday 28th with a 6.00 draw and fishing 6.30 to dusk, the draw will be at the Ivo lake on the Meadow Lane complex but is subject to the fishing improving a bit which a run of warmer days and nights as currently forecast may help. Last week I had a go and caught approx 15 Roach and Rudd in coldish weather, I expect to try again on Wednesday with Compo in tow for a recce prior to the match next week.
 
The owner has spruced up the Ivo and opened several of the road side swims up although the incessant pounding of the machines building the guided bus lanes is a pain, hopefully they will be finished soon and the buses will glide up and down all day, empty of course, but it will look nice. Money well spent as always.
 
So what can we expect from the river this year, well if the rain comes and the river holds its current colour I would be quite optimistic for a bit of Bream bashing with the odd Tench, Chub and Perch thrown in for good measure, if however it runs clear, we could struggle early season and early and late fishing will be the key. Despite lakes and commercials fishing all year round the 16th June is still special for all river anglers and hopefully once all the Cormorant, Otters, Seals and boats have done their worse we will get a go at both fish that are left apparently called Roger and Jeff and the only Roach left alive in the Ouse.
 
No doubt there will be a report on the pre season still water fixtures, assessing form and expectations for winners and losers in 2009/10 season. Senior Andrews will already have his book of excuses ready and DNW has bought a map, unfortunately he left it in the shop and he cannot remember which one. Compo has been growing worms and cannot understand that planting them is the same as letting them go . Finally Breamy has bought another rod and has inherited a pole, you can see where from, it used to take the telephone lines from the exchange to Pidley. It was the only thing thick enough to carry his new pole feeder system. 
 
Let the games begin.         
 
 
Two bits, Monday 4th Crystal lakes and Wed 6th Pidley
 
Yes I know that all we do is fish but Monday 4th was a bank holiday and in my defence my wife was working in Compo's defence he's not allowed in the house in daylight hours due to toilet training and in Did Not Weighs case he was obviously bored with his Zorro impression standing on top of the dust cart. Senior did not make either venue because firstly he knew Arsenal would get beaten and then secondly they were so he is currently lying in a dark room sobbing uncontrollably as Utd absolutely stuffed em, ha ha ha.
 
So to the fishing, we had a first pop at the new lake at Crystal Lakes and despite cold and nasty weather all 3 in attendance enjoyed the day. Compo went on the feeder, DNW the pole and me on the Waggler to give all methods a throw. The rules are no groundbait, barbless hooks , no keepnets but the rest is fair game and as we had a concession on keepnets the day was interesting to say the least. I had the most fish mainly on maggot 7 Tench between 2.5lbs and 4oz, would you believe, some nice Rudd the odd Roach one Carp about 3lb and one lost that was much bigger, I had about 16/17lb. Compo had a few bits one very nice Roach a net skimmer and 4 nice Carp betweeen 4 and 6lb for 20lb plus and DNW had a good Tench a 4lb Carp and a load of bits for 12lbish. All in all quite enjoyable and a better day with warmer weather big nets are to be had. I also have to mention that despite being new the lake (3 years old) has better surroundings than most commercials and is not a souless hole in the ground. We might even put a few pre season Thursday evening efforts on there, watch this space.
 
The Pidley thing was very interesting only Compo and me and we had a go on the top lake as the match lake was almost full with a match on. I have not fished the top lake but had heard good things with regard to the pellet Waggler up in the water. The morning was mostly feeder and bomb fishing and Compo proceeded to make me look like Senior with a 15 to 3 fish (all Carp) advantage. The afternoon was different with both on the wag and catching nice Carp between 2.5 and 6lb. By 4ish we had close to 100lb between us which considering the state of the wind blowing and the lack of sunshine was an excellent result. We both agreed that the method was very effective and very exciting as several times I had the handle of my reel spun by the speed of the take. I must admit that Compo won the day with a good 10lb more than me but who's counting if the £5 was not involved
 
I would like another go at that method so next week I might try and drag Sad Senior out for a pounding, he is 3 - 0 down on close season matches so far and long may it continue   
 
 
Wednesday 29th April Ivo and Andersons lake Meadow Lane complex
 
Once again we, that is Senior Andrews and me, ventured forth to see if the Ivo was fishing yet with the idea we would be in for some matches at some point. So he had first choice of swim and we sat under a cloudless sky but with a cold wind blowing fortunately off our backs. Not a Raoch or Rudd was seen in fact I had two bites both Tench for 8lb and a good lead, £5 being on the winner and all that, Senior again failed to score and, again, it was my fault or as he put it " you are always such a lucky spawny eyed B*****d". At just after 12 we moved about 5 yards behind us and into Andersons because I had seen a lot of silver fish moving and then we had an afternoon of smallish Rudd bashing which was good fun if nothing else. We sat in the same peg and Senior managed 5lb 10oz and me 5lb 2oz of fish up to 4oz, perhaps the matches should be Andersons and not the Ivo. Overall scores on the doors me 13lb 2oz Mick 5lb 10oz, despite SAS trying to change rules stating that the Tench "did not count" as we had moved swims, if he thought he was going to get that concession he had another think coming.  
 
Most enjoyable bit was, surprisingly, the Rudd fishing and seeing the mighty Andrews tangle two lots of top sets and rigs to such an extent that he looked like he was sitting in the middle of a spiders web.  
 
Therefore the end result was another win for me, three in a row, combined with Utd stuffing Arsenal 1 - 0 it was a good day and another £5 in the pocket.
 
The next one will be a while in coming but I will be keeping an eye on the lakes at Meadow Lane however Chaz, the head bailiff, agrees that we need a succesion of mild nights before they really start to feed       
 
 
Friday 17th April Rookery lakes Pidley
 
Yet another outing for, in this case, DNW Smallhookmaling, Senior Andrews Sister and myself for a small sweepsteak at £5 a head winner take all on Magpie lake at the Pidley complex. The weather was ok and eventually got warmish and suntans happened, or in Mick's case an eventual impression of the head of a swan vesta match due to his using factor 8 when he plainly requires factor bandage on his lilly white bald head. This was DNW's first go at Pidley and he christened his initial visit in the usual DNW way, left his floats in the car, I imagine one day that his lack of recall will eventually mean he will turn up with all the right gear but will have forgotton why.
 
As to the fishing and the result, I started well on feeder and had 10lb in the net within the first hourish during which time DNW had a couple and Senior thrashed the water to a foam without a bite and in the usual Senior manner blamed the draw, me, DNW, his fishing ability my fishing ability,me, the weather, his lack of the correct sun tan lotion, me you get the idea it was mainly my fault that he fished like a numpty.   
 
As the day went on I also started to catch one or two down the side on cat meat, god that stuff stinks but the Carp love it, DNW stuck with his long line and started to get a few on half a pellet, Senior tried to find the Rudd and could'nt and moaned a lot about being "done on both sides at once" whatever that means.
 
Eventually at weigh in DNW managed 18lb 2oz and Mick refused to weigh and had just started to catch one or two as the match ended but probably had 10/12lb I had struggled with the odd fish in the last couple of hours but still managed 29lb plus for the second glorious victory in a row, I take it back this commercial fishing can't be all bad.
 
Next week I intend to try and get permission for a go in the Ivo with Senior to assess whether the Roach are feeding as I hope to run a series of Thursday evening matches in the lake through mid May . As always we shall see.   
 
 
Wednesday 1st April Rookery lakes Pidley
 
Just as you thought it was safe, I'm back, well not really just the odd bit when one or two of us venture out into the wide wastes of still water fishing on the commercials. I am not a great lover of these venues, to artificial for my liking, but the lure of seeing the float sink and something on the other end is very great for the average angler and so on we go.
 
I had a quick conversation with Senior Andrews and we decided to resurrect last years series at Pidley which if memory serves ended up two all. I had looked at the Rookery lakes website and it appeared that of the 3 lakes Jay was fishing, small stuff but regular with 20lbs on the cards if you got them goingish. Wednesday started gloriously with regards to the weather warm sun and very little wind, lazy as Senior is he plonked himself in peg 1 nearest the carpark and I had peg 2 just to be neighbourly. £5 at stake and all to play for, all the fish initially were at 12 metres plus on the far shelve, Senior started to empty his peg after about 30 minutes waggler up in the water whereas I was getting one or two just off the far shelve in the deeper water. We both  fed 2 inside swims and I concentrated on mine once an hour plus had gone as I was getting stuffed but then as usual 2 things happened firstly a nasty side wind started, I hate the fens when the wind blows nothing to stop it anywhere, and that meant Senior struggled to present his waggler with a lot of drag going on and secondly I started to catch on the inside, maggot being the bait of choice everywhere. I had some nice Crucians and other Carp but nothing bigger then 12 oz and then the bonus fis in the shape of a 2.5lb Tench, Senior was under the moon about that one.
 
We both caught shallow later in the day on the far shelf and both agreed that without the side wind we would have had a lot more as there were lots of 4 to 8oz fish in the swims. The end result, I took the cash 26lb 14oz to 17lb 6oz no contest really and I was never worried, ask Senior he will tell you. SOOOOO off we go again first effort and I take the money, life could'nt be sweeter.