Reports on angling matches from the week ending 4 June 2016.
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Weights were improving but still generally patchy at Sunday’s fourth and final round of the 92-peg Sensas Kennet & Avon Teams of Four Spring League held on Marlborough’s Waters from Great Bedwyn Station to the Roadside at Little Bedwyn in Wiltshire. Garbolino Blackmore Vale Green’s Steve Long took the individual honours with 15-13-0 of mainly skimmers caught on dead pinkie and maggot over groundbait, presented at 13 and 14.5 metres off the bend at the bottom of Potters, to pick up £242 for his achievement. Runner-up was Rob Jones (Frenzee SW) who drew the first peg at the Station, where he poled red maggot over groundbait at 11 and 13 metres, to return 13-14-0 of skimmers to 1lb, leaving team-mate James Thomas in third with 11-1-0. Frenzee SW’s fine performance on the day saw them take the team prize with 86 points, however after this close-fought competition Devizes Preston Innovations Thatchers managed to hold on to their league lead to raise the trophy for the third consecutive year, this time with 257 points to share a rewarding £1,000 plus Sensas goodies. Homestores climbed up from league fourth to finish in second with 254 points, to pocket £700 and more Sensas products for their efforts.
It was déjà vu at the top as the three anglers who filled the frame in round four did it again! After putting in solid performances, averaging 7lb match weights throughout the Woodside Individual Spring League staged on the Dudley No.2 Canal in Merry Hill, Dudley, West Midlands. Pedmore-rod Pete Hatton (ZLT Angling Supplies) landed Saturday’s fifth and final round with a 12-14-11 top net, made up of four bream plus skimmers, taken on pole-fished red maggot over squatt and groundbait at peg 60. Andy Curless (Preston Innovations Black Horse) was second once again with half a dozen good skimmers and several perch, caught on poled squatt over groundbait for 10-4-9 from peg 35, leaving Quarry Bank rod Ian Hingley in third with 6-13-12, which included a stunning 5lb 4oz 5dr chub plus perch, all gathered on poled red maggot, worm and caster at peg 63. Pete’s win saw him top the league podium with 7 points, Ian Hingley finished league second on 9, ahead of Tony Bowen (Sensas Strike) who had an 11 point score.
On a more poignant note, Pete Hatton had only stepped into the league in round two, to fill in for his good friend and angling adversary over many a campaign, Dave Sheaf (Canal Kings) because Dave’s wife Jenny suddenly fell seriously ill and has been in Russell’s Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands for the last two months. Thankfully after many tense moments for the family, Jenny although still very poorly is now responding well to treatment and Pete has kindly donated his £100 prize money to the Cancer Ward at Russell’s Hall where Jenny is being cared for. All of us in the angling fraternity sincerely wish Dave and Jenny all the best for the future.
Despite the dazzling sunshine and wind causing a lot of surface tow with rafts of floating debris bringing problems early on in Sunday’s Woodside AC Open on the Link 51 Section of the Dudley No.1 Canal in Merry Hill, West Midlands, all in all the canal fished well with the top seven anglers all weighing in over 7lb. Winner Ian Hingley (Quarry Bank) poled squatt and pinkie over groundbait for a 10-14-5 top net of skimmers and quality roach from peg 11, next to the old footbridge. Drawn on peg 8, Brian Smith (Halesowen RBL) came second with 9-13-10 of skimmers and hybrids, to poled double pinkie over groundbait, bumping Sedgley’s Dave Wood into third when he slid 9-13-8 of like-fish into his keepnets, attracted on big maggot and pinkie, presented over groundbait at adjacent peg 9.
Sport proved difficult at the Woodside AC Bank Holiday Monday Open on the Dudley No.2 Canal in Merry Hill, West Midlands, nevertheless Tony Foster (Dams & Lock) managed a clear win on peg 22 where he returned 3-10-1 of rudd, roach and perch, taken on poled squatt over groundbait. Netherton’s Dave Evitts followed on peg 8 with one skimmer and a few mixed small silvers, snared on poled pinkie over bread for 1-8-5, leaving Tony Bowen (Canal Kings) in third with squatt-fish and three better caster-perch for 1-3-12 from peg 18.
May is always a tough time of the year for angling and this was reflected in the weights at Saturday’s round two of the 30-entry Barford AS Teams of Three Canal Spring League held on the Grand Union Canal in Knowle, West Midlands. Barford’s Dave Harris ran out a clear winner on peg 17 with a 6-5-8 net consisting of a few skimmers to 1lb, boosted by small mixed silvers, which all fell to poled maggot. It was a close call for second but Colin Talbot (Matchbox) just made it with 2-11-4 of squatt-tempted bits, pipping Nick Cowling (Barford) into third with 2-7-0. Browning West Midlands topped the team front on the day with 11 points and Shakespeare Superteam/Bait-Tech are heading the league presently on 20 with Matchbox and Jets currently tied in second on 27 points apiece.
On Saturday, twelve double acts contested round two of the Lure Anglers Canal Club Pairs League on the Radford Bottom Lock Section of the Grand Union Canal in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. The water was a good colour with pretty good visibility and the weather was set fair. Everyone wanted to make the most of any early start at 8:00am before the sun made it too tough and the Bank Holiday boat traffic began. All of the anglers caught, mainly in the first three hours. In all forty one perch were caught, over half of which were 20cm plus and eight were over 30cm in length. Thirty seven zander were netted, the largest of which was 46cm. Four teams managed to bank over 3 metres of fish (including bonuses), they were Catching Z’s, Team with No Name, Canalmasters and the Worcester Wanglers however Steve Wilson of the Worcester Wanglers bagged a welcome pike of 65cm which pushed them over the 4 metre mark to victory with 38 points, pipping Canalmasters into second on 37 points, ahead of Team with No Name’s 33.
Wolverhampton AA match secretary Arthur Shaw (Rough Hay AC) found himself among the chub at the Wednesday evening Wolves AA Open on the Shropshire Union Canal in Brewood, Staffordshire and took full advantage on peg 10 where he poled chopped worm and caster to scale a satisfying 14-14-0. Arthur and I always have a £1 bet on these matches and he trounced me fair and square. Well done mate! Runner-up on next peg 11 was Pete Roberts (Ian’s Tackle) who scaled 11-10-0 of caster-chub, leaving Barry Jones (Goodyear AC) in third with 10-3-0, made up of a solitary chub, bolstered by perch captured on pole-fished red maggot and caster at peg 9.
The Dimples Lane to Byerworth Lane stretch of the Lancaster Canal in Garstang, Lancashire displayed no fish activity at all as the length was being pegged out for the second match of the Ted Carter/Lancaster Canal Tuesday Evening Match Series so the 19-strong field were less than hopeful however the venue always has the potential to return some healthy weights. The fish have finished spawning now so it was a case of trying to get amongst the bream and skimmers as the back-up weights of smaller silvers are still to show. Conditions were warm and very blustery and drawn on a favoured peg at Dimples, Carl Whalley (Sensas NW) found the bream and skimmers were certainly hungry, he finished head and shoulders above the rest with a superb 30-0-0 top catch which is also the second best weight ever recorded in this match series so well done Carl! Pegged just through Garstang Road Bridge, Daz Shaw (Maver NW) secured second with 10-8-0 of skimmers and a tie occurred for third when Alan Sagar (Lancs. MG) and Bernard McCann (Tri-Cast Rochdale) both returned good-sized skimmer nets for 8-10-0 apiece.
The Three Hammers stretch of the Goodyear AC Waters on the Staffs & Worcs Canal in Coven, Staffordshire saw action for Wednesday’s Wolverhampton Over 60’s Club Open where Brownhills rod Dave Holbrook had his first win of the week with a 4-5-10 net of maggot-tempted skimmers, small roach, gudgeon and bits at peg 12. Browning Lifestyle manager Alan Round had a comparable quarry for second with 3-13-4 from peg 7, pipping octogenarian Bert Simmill (Bilston Angling Centre) into third when he finished just two drams adrift with 3-13-2 of chiefly gudgeon, taken on poled squatt and pinkie at peg 4.
Due to the unusually good Bank Holiday weather for once, the Staffs & Worcs Canal in Wombourne, Staffordshire was extremely busy with heavy boat traffic and plenty of people out for a stroll along the towpath in the sunshine during Sunday’s penultimate round eight of the Wolverhampton AA Individual Spring League. After a tight tussle for top billing, Brownhills rod Dave Holbrook emerged the victor on peg 9 to take his second triumph of the week when he caught a 1½lb chub, four skimmers and four perch plus bits on pole-fished double red maggot for a 6-3-0 top weight. Penkridge-based Nigel Clayton (Browning Lifestyle) followed on peg 14 with a level 6-0-0 catch, consisting of a 1lb crucian, a brace of perch pushing 1lb each and chublets, all taken on poled maggot, ahead of Wolverhampton AA VDE skipper Paul Turner’s 139 squatt-fish for 5-10-0 from peg 10, next to the winner. With everything to play for in the final and having topped the league since round four, Dean Williams (Team Eclipse) is still maintaining his lead on 24 points with Mel Wood (Four Ashes AC) chasing him hard on 28.
Crewe-based train driver Steve Fogel steamed ahead at Sunday’s Hodnet AC Open held on the Coal Wharf section of the Shropshire Union Canal in Market Drayton, Shropshire. All of the top three returned roach, skimmers and perch nets with Steve weighing in 6-4-8, snared on poled squatt and caster at peg 17. Warrington-based Jeff Shaw followed on peg 1 with a bread and pinkie-enticed 5-12-0, nudging Phil ‘Jonty’ Johnson (Browning Lifestyle/Dave’s of Middlewich) into third when he slid 5-11-7 onto the scales, caught on poled caster and chopped worm at peg 9.
At Saturday’s Sportsman AC Open on the Leabrook length of the Walsall Canal in Wednesbury, West Midlands, Dave Anderson (ZLT) left the others standing when he found the resident bream in feeding mode on peg 24. Pole-fishing bread punch, Dave netted all bream for 14-7-0. Just ounces split the decision for the next two and Good Intent’s Gary Owen just edged it on peg 21 with 3-1-8 of squatt-tempted roach, leaving Mal Rodgers (Sensas Midlands) in third with 2-14-9 of punch-caught redfins at peg 14.
Four Ashes AC captain Mel Wood stole the show at the Thursday evening Goodyear AC Open, staged on the Slade Heath section of the Staffs & Worcs Canal in Staffordshire. Drawn on peg 1, Woody had 5-2-0 of roach and gudgeon, caught on poled squatt and pinkie, bolstered by some bonus perch which he had on worm and caster down the track. Runner-up on next peg 2 was Johnny Benness (Goodyear AC) with 4-10-0 of roach, perch and gudgeon, gathered on pole-fished pinkie and punch, ahead of Ray Campbell (Sankey’s) who tipped 3-7-9 of mainly pinkie and caster-tempted roach and gudgeon onto the scales at peg 5.
The Roadside Section of the Staffs & Worcs Canal in Penkridge, Staffordshire was the venue for Saturday’s Wolverhampton AA Open and Crewe’s Phil ‘Jonty’ Johnson (Browning Lifestyle/Dave's of Middlewich) took the winner’s purse on peg 5 with one perch and then two skimmers caught late on in the match, taken on poled caster for 3-4-7 from peg 5. Wolverhampton AA VDE skipper Paul Turner secured second with 3-1-11 which included a trio of perch and four caster-roach, backed-up by squatt fish at peg 7, leaving Dennis Sumner (Bilston Angling Centre) in third with 2-15-6, made up a single skimmer plus bits, all to poled squatt on peg 10.
Wolverhampton-based carpenter, Paul Turner (Wolverhampton AA VDE) then upped his game at the hard-fought Bank Holiday Monday Wolves AA Open on the Staffs & Worcs Canal in Penkridge, Staffordshire by carving out a win with 111 squatt-fish for 3-15-7. Browning Lifestyle’s Paul Dobing and Cannock-based Simon Nickless (Sensas Black Country) followed with 3-6-2 and 2-1-10 respectively.
Due to the bright, warm and sunny conditions for a change at Sunday’s Stirrup Cup Open held on the club’s waters of the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal in Curdworth, Warwickshire, all of the fish were caught in the first two hours of the match. John Brockwell (Long Eaton Fed.) led the way on peg 8 with half a dozen bream, the largest of which was 2lb plus perch and gudgeon, all caught on poled caster. Sam Lewis (3M’s) followed, using the same bait strategy on peg 5, with three bream to 1½lb, alongside one 1¼lb perch and gudgeon for 6-7-11, ahead of Terry Fisher (Coleshill & District AA) who had quite a few skimmers to 8 oz, together with smaller hand skimmers and some little perch and gudgeon, all to poled red maggot for 5-14-5 from peg 14.
Conditions were cloudy and a northerly wind swept across the Engine Lake at Earlswood Lakes in Solihull, West Midlands during Sunday’s Marston Green Tavern AC bout. Predominantly carp catches were returned caught on pellet waggler tactics and Grant Marshall eased to victory on peg 62 with a level 89-0-0, ahead of Matt Grey on neighbouring peg 61 who scaled 41-13-0. Dave Cope finished in third just nine ounces shy with 41-4-0 at peg 73.
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