Reports on angling matches from the week ending 16 April 2016.
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Young Wolverhampton-based up and coming match star Sam Rushton (Sensas Black Country) went one better from his bridesmaid position in the previous round to top Sunday’s round four of the Wolverhampton AA Individual Spring League staged on a gin-clear Shropshire Union Canal in Pendeford, Staffordshire. Drawn on fancied peg 10 on the drove way, Sam pole-fished squatt and pinkie to scale a level 6-0-0 of roach and small skimmers. Team Eclipse stalwarts made up the rest of the frame with Stoke duo Eric Gardner and Keith Hulland finishing in second and third place respectively. Eric weighed in 5-9-6 of bread-tempted roach at peg 17, ahead of Keith who initially poled bread punch, netting a 9oz perch on his first put-in, alongside some caster-roach plus mixed small silvers to poled squatt and pinkie to record 4-8-3 on peg 5. At the halfway stage of this tightly-contested league, Penkridge’s Dean Williams (Team Eclipse) has now taken over the lead on 13 points, however Neil Turner (Wolverhampton AA VDE) is hot on his heels with 14 points. Four Ashes AC teamster Mel Wood is chasing them hard, now on 15 points.
Sunday’s Gloucester Canal Spring League Practise Match was staged along the prolific Rea to Pilot length in Gloucestershire where although the anglers were faced with a stiff easterly wind, the roach and bream were still in feeding mode right along the stretch. Winner Rob McKenzie (Gloucester Angling Centre) took a chance feeding fishmeal-based groundbait with worm on the hook on ten metres of pole at peg 211, where after a slow start his gamble paid off and he was rewarded with eleven bream for an impressive 37-6-0. Runner-up on peg 217 was Devizes rod Nigel Baker who had 33-7-0 of bream on pole-fished worm and maggot with a couple snared on the groundbait feeder, ahead of Mark Treasure (DGL) who had a couple of specimen redfins pushing 2lb in his third-placed 19-12-0 net at peg 214.
A severe, hard frost and gusty winds greeted the anglers at Sunday’s Canal Kings Open on the Soho Loop stretch of the Birmingham Mainline Canal in Winson Green, Birmingham where punch-roach nets filled the top three spots. First home on peg 37 was Walsall-based Malc Appleby (Sensas Black Country) who tipped 5-11-9 on to the scales. Good Intent’s Norman Wilson followed with 4-10-0 from adjacent peg 36, leaving Glenn Morris (Preston Innovations Black Horse) in third on peg 33 where he returned 3-5-7. Sensas Black Country’s Dave Whittington went for an unexpected dip when a section of his pole ended up in the water. Relieved Dave commented, “My no.7 section blew into the cut and that’s way too expensive not to get back, thankfully it didn’t roll down the slope into the boat channel!” Well retrieved Dave, not quite the Lady of the Lake, a good impression though nevertheless!
On Wednesday, Wolverhampton Over 60’s Club were back in action for their first open match of 2016 held on the Jubilee Water of the Staffs & Worcs Canal at Otherton, Penkridge in Staffordshire where the 23-strong field were welcomed back with April showers and a hail storm. In-form local rod Dave Smith (Bridgtown Social AC) eased to victory on peg 5 with 10-10-10 of caster-roach, ahead of team mate Bob Boothby’s 6-1-0 of small roach and gudgeon which fell to poled squatt and pinkie on neighbouring peg 6. Ray Campbell (Sankey’s) secured third with a solitary chub and a couple of sizeable skimmers, caught on poled caster for 4-1-10 from end peg 23.
On Sunday, round one of the 36-entry Middlewich Individual Spring League got underway on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Middlewich, Cheshire where Ted Carter Southport’s Chris Gorrell took the honours on peg 12. Pole-fishing chopped worm down the track, Chris bagged a brace of perch both around the 1½lb mark, backed-up by a 2lb skimmer and mixed silvers for a 6-0-0 top weight. Crewe-based Simon Preece (Browning Lifestyle) followed with 4-11-12 of squatt-fish from peg 9, edging Ant Marsden (Sam’s Tackle Wigan) into third when he scaled 4-9-4 of punch-enticed silvers at peg 7.
Wolverhampton AA VDE skipper, Paul Turner topped Saturday’s Browning Lifestyle/Stafford Izaak Walton open match staged on Shropshire Union Canal in High Onn, Church Eaton, Staffordshire. Drawn on peg 2, carpenter Paul chipped out 115 caster-roach for a clear win with 11-1-0. Wednesfield’s Mel Wood (Four Ashes AC) followed on peg 5 with 7-13-15 consisting of 283 squatt-fish, pipping Dave Holbrook (Brownhills) into third at peg 9 where a rare occurrence happened when pole-fishing caster down the track, Dave latched into a 2lb eel, the rest of his 7-9-10 net being made up of 5lb of squatt-fish.
The chub were certainly hungry at Sunday’s Sensas Strike Open held on the Halesowen RBL Water of the Staffs & Worcs Canal at Castlecroft, Wolverhampton, West Midlands. Halesowen-based Andy Patchett (Sensas Strike) claimed the winner’s purse with an all chub haul caught on big maggot presented down the track, then worm and caster over chopped worm fished towards the far bank for an admirable 22-10-0, ahead of Rob Gandley (Sensas Strike/Mal Storey’s) who also had all chub for 18-10-0. Halesowen RBL’s Steve Harris came third with 8-4-0 which included a few chub plus bits.
The Albrighton Anglers Waters of the Shropshire Union Canal in Wheaton Aston, Staffordshire was the location for Saturday’s Cashmores MG open contest where lots of mixed silvers showed along the length to the usual bread punch, pinkie and caster baits resulting in a very close match indeed. The top anglers all found a few bonus fish, being roach and skimmers to 8oz which made all the difference at the weigh-in. Paul Jeffery just edged it on peg 9 with 6-1-14, nudging Chris Constable into second with 5-15-4 from peg 6. Mike Elcock’s 5-14-6 saw him third on next peg 5.
On Sunday, the eighth and final round of the 28-peg Canal & River Trust Winter Pairs Series went ahead on the Cherries and Willow Pools at Blythe Waters in Knowle, Solihull, West Midlands where predominantly carp with lots of roach and perch were caught although there were a few chub knocking about too. Winner Carl Gill (Canal & River Trust AC) caught the majority of his fish on the Method feeder with groundbait and red maggots for an unassailable 62-7-0 from Cherries peg 2. Other anglers caught fishing close in or out, shallow on pellet and maggot. Carl’s pairs’ companion Carl Nicholls (Canal & River Trust AC) filled the runner-up’s slot with 49-10-0 at Willow peg 22, ahead of Ray Galetley (Blythe Waters) who slid 37-5-0 onto the scales at Cherries peg 20. The two Carls took the pairs’ spoils on the day with 28 points ahead of Blythe Waters’ pairing Roland Ball and Mick Palfrey’s 22 point score. After strong performances throughout the competition, the Trust’s inimitable Nicholls and Gill topped the league podium on 156 points, ahead of Blythe Waters double act Dave Hooper and Ray Galetley’s 138 point total. Halesowen RBL combo Martyn Yarsley and Paul Evans claimed the third prize on 134 points.
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