Angling reports brought to you by Steve Cope.
It was certainly an eventful first club match of the year for Halesowen RBL on the BAA waters of the River Severn at Stourport and it was déjà-vu for club member Martyn Yarsley when he came across a woman in difficulties as she had fallen into the river while he was pegging out. Quick-thinking Health & Safety Officer Martyn phoned the emergency services and with the help of a launch from the nearby rowing club, the lady suffered no harm. It was almost a repeat of an incident four years ago at the same venue when Martyn had seen a man fall into the river on the other side and phoned the emergency services who saved him. Well done Martyn you deserve a medal!
Back to the match, chef Terry Trueman was cooking on gas when he trounced his club-mates on peg 1 with 19-9-0, consisting of roach to 1½lb and perch to 2lb alongside dace, gathered on stick float and bronze maggot. After regaining his composure, Martyn was second in the match using the same technique to return 12-15-0 of roach and dace, ouncing Phil Whitehouse into third who did the same to record 12-12-0 for the third spot.
Shrewsbury AF ran two opens on the ‘Old Sabrina’ in Shrewsbury, Shropshire at the weekend where a dace bonanza ensued. On Saturday, Ross-on-Wye rod Hadrian Whittle (Kamasan Starlets) whittled away the rest of the 35-strong field, to take the winner’s purse on peg 60 with a hearty 23-9-8 top weight to stick and bolo with maggot. Colin Harvey (DH Angling) followed with 22-4-0 to whip and bolo tactics, ahead of Brian ‘Shunter’ Jones (Maver) who did the same to scale 21-2-0. Brian Rigby (Shakespeare Superteam) slotted in next to record 19-12-0 for fourth place which included a welcome 5lb 2oz chub and completing the frame was Hereford’s Derron Harper whose similar approach returned 19-6-0 of all dace. Twenty four fished on Sunday where Aldridge-based Brian Rigby fared better to land the event with 22-4-0 captured on whip and bolo at peg 71. The framers all chose the same strategy for dace and Adam Williams (Total Angling) came second with 16-11-0, pipping Riverfest winner Tom Lane (Lane’s Bait & Tackle) into third when he returned 16-10-0.
Conditions at Sunday’s round four of the Bridgnorth AS Teams of Three Winter League were close to a perfect winter level and reasonably clear on the Linley Bank stretch of the Severn in Bridgnorth. Dave Haywood (Bridgnorth AS) took the individual honours on peg 75 in the Chestnut Coppice with a 13-12-0 net comprising of one barbel nudging 9lb, taken on hair-rigged meat and one good chub which fell to straight legered bread. Kingswinford’s Jez Williams (The Vine) ran him close when he banked one barbel and a trio of chub, all to hair-rigged meat for 13-2-0. Unfortunately Jez lost one chub on the whistle which cost him the match. Dec Causer (Riverside) had one 9lb 2 oz barbel on his first cast to secure match third. Riverside took the team spoils on the day with an unassailable 33 points but The Bell have now strengthened their league lead to 87 points.
River conditions were ideal for chub to feed for the first time this year and they certainly didn’t disappoint at Saturday’s 25-peg Barford AA Open at Barford, Warks. After pulling off a win at Bewdley last week, Barford AA’s John Stockton repeated the dose with a sixteen chub catch to waggler and maggot for 29-6-0 from peg 66. Hot on his heels, team-mate Ian Patrick banked chub and barbel on the same method for 27-14-0, edging Paul Caswell (Sensas WB Clarke) into third with eight chub to pole and waggler tactics to scale 25-10-0.
Having attended a wedding the previous day, Crewe-based Les Osweleski (Team Les ‘O’) was promoted to best man status at Sunday’s Stone DAC Open staged on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Stone, Staffs. Les topped the sell-out field of fifty four anglers. Drawn on peg 1 below Meaford Lock, he poled chopped worm and caster for 13-5-9 of bream, skimmers and roach. The canal was carrying a slight tinge and conditions were overcast with sunny periods and extremely cold. Runner-up was Stoke star Keith Hulland (Team Eclipse) who scaled 11-15-4 of bread punch-tempted skimmers and roach, ahead of Wednesfield youngster Rob Lloyd (Browning Lifestyle) who had 10-3-0 of skimmers and roach plus two good bream to bread punch and worm.
Less than one pound split the decision for the top four at Saturday’s 28-peg round four of the Staffs. Individual Aggregate on the Shropshire Union Canal at High Onn, Church Eaton, Staffs. Brownhills’ Dave Holbrook stole the show on peg 25 near the sump with 7-12-12 of roach to poled squatt and pinkie. The next two also had redfin nets with Bilston Angling Centre’s Barry Williams using the whip for 7-6-12, ahead of Dean Williams (Team Eclipse) with 7-3-9 of punched bread and pinkie fish. Holbrook and Mel Wood (Four Ashes AC) are currently tied at the top of the league standings, both on 8 points apiece. With two rounds remaining Bernie Leatherbarrow, Dennis Sumner and Paul Murrin are all on 9.
A fine afternoon’s sport was had by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association Competition Secretary Doug Hawkins when he enjoyed his most memorable three hour pleasure session on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in the picturesque foothills of the Brecon Beacons last Sunday. Due to the mild winter so far, the canal has been fished with some success and on his latest expedition Doug fished in the turning bay above Bridge 165 near the town centre where he caught roach and dace all afternoon on bread with maggots being totally ignored. Sounds like a good day out to me!
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