Lee Green Angling Club
Match Reports 2008

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Welcome to our Match Reports page. There will not necessarily be a report on every match and nor will it be a blow by blow account, more of a general personal view of the day by the writer.

There will also occasionally be items on other matters such as waters that we have visited, tackle shops etc.

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Another Year Over

Well it's that time of year again. The remains of the turkey have long since gone in the bin, the Christmas pudding and mince pies have all been eaten, the New Year welcomed with a grand display of fireworks and large amounts of alcohol, and the hangover cure is just starting to kick in. As I get older the years just seem to fly past. Gone are the days of our youth when we couldn't wait to to be 16 so that we could leave school, or 18 when we could have a pint in the pub, legally, instead of sitting outside with a packet of crisps and a bottle of orange juice. I remember listening to the boxing fight between Cassius Clay and Henry Cooper in 1963 on just such an occasion.

As for our fishing, no sooner has one season started than it's over and your left wondering what all the fuss was about. The days and weeks just fly by.

But we can't let our 2008 season pass without having a look at what turned out to be a year of superlatives because the results were amazing.

We had a decidedly dodgy start to the season with some poor weights, and then compounded it by making a second visit to Bassetts Farm in the middle of the season. Even some of our 'banker' venues were not producing in the way which we were used to. But then we started to get into our stride and by mid point of the season we were just about on target to beat the 2007 total. The latter part of the season produced some fantastic results, when the weather didn't intervene, and by the time we got to the last match the club Championship was hanging on a knife-edge. Mark Beard had been leading all season with some really solid, consistent performances but then had it snatched from him, with the last weigh-in of the season, by Bob Edwards who matched him on points and so won by total weight. The closest end to a season that I can ever remember.

The really good part about the season for me was that just about everybody succeeded in one way or another. These are just a few of the notable achievements

  • Total match weight for the season 11,748-11-0 smashing the 2007 total of 10,214-15-8
  • Bob Edwards smashed the fishery record at Monks with a catch of 339-0-0 and set a new Club Match Record
  • 5 members caught over 1,000 lbs, including Bob Edwards with 1,958-1-0 and Mark Beard with 1,700-15-8
  • 8 members improved their personal best match weights, mostly by a large margin
  • 8 members had average match weights over 50 lbs including Bob E at 103-0-14 and Mark at 85-0-12
  • 6 different anglers won matches - I even managed a couple myself.
  • Only 4 anglers didn't weigh-in and that was due to the weather conditions
  • 10 new Club Venue Records have been set

There are loads more individual achievements but the point is that as a club we have had a brilliant season conducted, for the most part, with good humour and cameraderie. I can't wait for 2009 to start.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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7th December 2008

Coach House Lake, Nupers Hatch

This has been our traditional final match of the season for a few years now and is usually preceded by breaking the ice so that we can make some swims and followed by a hearty breakfast. This year we still had to break the ice, although it was not as thick as in previous years, but the breakfast was missing now that 'the girls' have moved on. The egg and bacon 'doorstep' was a pretty good substitute though.

My fishing here has, frankly, been lousy but I was particularly keen to make a good job of it this year as I only needed 41 lbs to break 1,000 lbs for the season. Doesn't sound a lot but when you consider that our club record is 38-2-0 it was quite a leap of faith. I had of course expected to do rather better at Pittlands last time out but that's another story. Anyway despite the cold weather the fishing was pretty good and everybody caught and I exceeded my wildest expectations and won the match with a mixed bag of goldfish and roach to weigh 22-14-0. Not as much as I had hoped for but it was a most enjoyable day.

Elsewhere Bob Edwards (who wanted about 62 lbs to break 2,000 lbs for the season) managed to come second with 19-14-0 which gave him just enough points to draw level with Mark Beard and take the Club Championship on overall weight caught. Very well done Bob and very hard luck on Mark who has lead all season. This has to be one of the closest results ever.

Well that's another season over and it's been pretty exciting with lots of records set and others broken. I'll write a bit more about it all when I've had a few mince pies and a little liquid refreshment over Christmas.

Tight lines, a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all.

The Edge

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23rd November 2008

Pittlands

I first saw this fishery back in March on a very bleak, wet day and was so exited by what I saw and heard that I have been looking forward to it ever since. Unfortunately we picked the worst day of the year so far. It started to snow while we were setting up, then we had sleet and eventually rain for most of the morning, not forgetting the strong winds of course. The sun, when it eventually came out, was very welcome and lasted until it poured with rain again while we were clearing up.

All this inclement weather did nothing to help with the fishing and we ended the day with only 91-7-0 between us which was not quite what we had envisaged. Good job we had started the day with a terrific breakfast which made it all seem worthwhile somehow.

Never mind there's always next year.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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16th November 2008

Sumners Ponds - Large Lake

Finding a fishery which fishes well even when the weather is a bit colder is not easy and we were very hopeful that the large lake at Sumners would fill the bill even though we really wanted to fish the match lake. I'd say that based on yesterday's results that the jury is still out. There are certainly some nice fish in the lake, but unfortunately most of them stayed in hiding for the day.

I went through the card trying different baits but found that red maggot was the only thing that they were interested in. Most of us found the same although a few fish did come out on other baits. It was mostly small skimmers that came out with the occasional carp. Basically if you didn't get a carp then you weren't in the game.

I drew an end peg and was quite hopeful but should have followed my intincts and stayed at home as I only managed to catch 6-6-0 of skimmers and came in last. All the bigger weights came from the other side of the lake (again) and gradually got lower as you went around the lake. The worst part for me was that John H beat me (just) and grassed me up to our work colleagues before I even had a chance to defend myself. I'll get my own back for that one. Roll on Pittlands.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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26th October 2008

Arrans

This match was originally scheduled to be held on the Grand Union Canal at Chelmscote but, bearing in mind the number of "Old Crocks" that we have in the club at the moment, it was decided that we should change the venue and Arrans was available.

Weather wise it was virtually a repeat of the 2006 match and it rained persistenly from the moment we started until about 1.30pm, however this did not seem to put the fish off, although it didn't fish quite as well as it did 4 weeks earlier. Bob E won with over 261lbs, bringing his total to over a 1000lbs in the last 4 matches, and Bob G continued his run of good form with a new Personal Best and came second with 179-2-0 and also had a Personal Best carp of 14-6-0.

Our total weight for the day of 1091-14-8 means that we have not only beaten last years Record Weight for the Season, we have obliterated it. With 3 matches still to go this season, we are going to have a hard job to top it next year.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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12th October 2008

Monks Lake 4

After our last visit here in August when Bob Edwards set a new fishery record on Lake 2 with 339-0-0 we were all looking forward to this one even though we know it fishes very differently. We were even joined by 4 quality guest anglers who have fished it before.

I managed to draw an end peg with peg 1 and was quite hopeful until the 'curse of the Golden Peg' struck again. That's 6 times this year. Unbelievable! I was also round the wrong side of the lake and really had to scratch for bites as did most anglers near me ending up in 7th place with just over 30 lbs.

Around the other side it was a different matter though and most of the big weights came from over there with Bob Edwards taking the honours again with 127-0-0. Our total catch for the day of 781-7-0 means that we have already broken the club record for a season, set last year, and we stll have 4 matches to go. Roll on next year.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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28th September 2008

Arrans

Arrans always gives us some good weights, even in the colder times of the year and it was here in 2006 that Bob Edwards set a new club record with 274-6-0 and I knew that he was out to beat it this year. The weather was good all day with just enough sun to keep you warm without being uncomfortable. I managed to get a good draw at one end in a known good swim and Bob was at the other end, again in a good swim with some very able anglers in other good swims in between. This was going to be interesting.

The only thing to spoil it for me was that I got the Golden Peg (otherwise known as the 'kiss of death') for about the 5th time this year.

I started catching almost from the off with a steady stream of carp in the 4 to 5lb range and I could see plenty of other fish coming out all down the bank. By the lunch time weigh in it was obvious that there were quite a few people in the running but after the restart I was struggling for a while until I eventually found the bait they were going for and starting catching regularly again.

The final weigh in started at my end and I was amazed to find that I had over 180lbs of fish but I was under no illusions as to where the winning weight was coming from. The other end of the bank! I was not wrong. Bob had smashed his own record with 309-2-0 followed by Mark Beard with a new Personal Best 226-13-0 and me 3rd. Dave Barr was 4th with 172-15-0 and Mick Howard 5th with a new Personal Best 123-7-0. I suspect that there were some other PB's along the way so if I have missed anybody please let me know.

It never ceases to surprise me that some days you can fish your socks off and seem to come up with very little whilst on other days you can fish very comfortably and empty the water.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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14th September 2008

Horsmonden

After my previous performances here I was hoping that I could redeem myself this time. I started out well with a good draw and managed to avoid the Golden Peg so things were looking up. I even managed to avoid catching on my first cast, but unfortunately managed to avoid getting a bite for over an hour while everybody around me seemed to be catching one a chuck, Eventually I did start to put a catch together on the feeder but couldn't get a sniff on the normally productive inside line. And so it went on for much longer than I care to think about until somebody 'threw a switch' and I suddenly started to catch inside for about 2 hours on the feeder.

Things were looking up. Most of the time my rod barely had time to settle before I had another fish and they were getting bigger and included some nice koi carp. Then somebody 'threw the switch' again and all the fish dasappeared elsewhere. Despite my best, though obviously inadequate, efforts I only managed to catch one small carp in the last 2 hours. Oh well, back to reality.

To make matters worse I had to watch helplessly as the new and unblemished No. 5 section of my pole slide gracefully into the depths never to be seen again. Couldn't have been the one I broke a few months back and had repaired could it?

As it happens I wasn't the only one to get clumsy with a pole! Dave B managed to break both the No. 3 and No.4 sections of his Beastmaster while playing a 'lump'. The crack when it went echoed for quite a while and I managed to add a few words to my vocabulary!!!

As for the match, there was a well deserved win for Bob G (114-5-0) closely followed by Mark B (96-12-0). I managed just under 60 pounds and 6th place. My best catch there so far. Perhaps I won't give up on it yet.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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31st August 2008

Monks Lake 2

When I write these reports I am frequently stuck for nice things to say about the fishery and the anglers. Then there are times when it is very easy. On this occasion my only problem is that I am fast running out of superlatives.

Although this was the first time we had fished it as a club some of us had some practice sessions there and were expecting great things. We were not disappointed. The weather was dull and overcast for most of the day with thunderstorms forecast which fortunately didn't materialise. The only thing that was electric in our area was the fishing which was out of this world.

We were all well prepared with 3 or 4 keepnets each and followed our normal practise at prolific fisheries such as Monks by having a break at mid-day when we weigh all the fish caught in the morning and return them to the water and then give things a chance to settle down before we start the second session. At the end of the day things had turned out even better than we had hoped. At least seven anglers had caught personal best weights. Eight had caught over the ton and one got really greedy and set a new fishery record!

Those who caught personal bests were John Helling 88-0-0, Ross McGilvery 98-12-0, Mick Howard 116-2-0, Bob Gaylard 139-0-0, Dave Barr 163-4-0, Mark Beard 196-0-0 and last but by no means least Bob Edwards with 339-0-0.

With his magnificent weight Bob Edwards not only set a NEW FISHERY RECORD (first weight over 300 lbs) he also set a NEW CLUB RECORD and a NEW CLUB SILVERFISH RECORD (117-8-0)

I should also give honourable mention to our guest John Barker who caught 171-0-0.

We must also say a big THANK YOU to the staff and management at Monk Lakes. They are invariably cheerful and helpful and they have built a fantastic fishery which they maintain to an extremely high standard. Better still they have achieved this without a list of rules as long as your arm, unlike some fisheries we could all name. More power to their elbow. You can read more about Monk Lakes HERE. Pay them a visit you won't regret it.

We have another match at Monk Lakes in a few weeks on Lake 4 and already have two matches booked for next year. Can't wait!!

Tight lines.

The Edge

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17th August 2008

Chart

I was a bit disappointed with my performance here last year after a promising practice session but was determined to do better this year especially as my partner, Bob G, and I are in the running for the Pairs Competition and he has been carrying me all season.

Before the start we had a torrential downpour which dampened the enthusiasm a bit but the day turned out pretty well though a bit blowy at times and the fishing was great with 5 of us catching over 100 pounds and a couple of other close calls. Between the 9 of us we caught over 1000 pounds of fish. Better still, I managed to make amends to Bob G for my poor performances so far this season by winning with over 180 pounds. My first win of the season and long overdue.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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3rd August 2008

Tylers Common, Horseshoe Lake

Due to holidays and other commitments only 6 members managed to fish this match. I was particularly disappointed not to be able to defend the record I set last year. Apparently the fish came and went throughout the day, but 375-7-8 was a pretty good performance, shame about the hike back up to the car-park though.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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27th July 2008

Newland Hall, Moat Lake

This is one of the most popular venues that we fish and we all look forward to our days here. Unfortunately though, it is also the most expensive at £250 for the lake so this was going to be our last visit here for the foreseeable future unless our income improves somewhat.

The fishing as always was great with 3 members topping the 'ton' and others not far behind. We're going to miss it next year.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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6th July 2008

Bassetts Farm

This match was originally planned for Leggats Lake near East Grinstead but unfortunately had to be relocated due to some recently discovered planning restrictions.

We were not at all sure about fishing this venue again after the results on our first visit, but, as we were fishing a different lake this time, we decided to guve it another go. Big mistake! The only thing that was worse than the weather conditions was the fishing itself. If you were lucky enough to catch any fish in the morning then the chances were that you didn't get a bite in the afternoon. The total match weight of 40-14-8 speaks for itself.

I'm sorry but with my advancing years I have got better things to do with my time than fish such a venue. I won't be back and I'm pretty sure that nobody else will either.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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22nd June 2008

Oast Farm, Buxted

This is always a popular venue due to the plentiful number of match sized carp with some much bigger ones thrown in for good measure.

Before proceedings got under way there was a presentation to John H of some beautiful pink arm bands in honour of his spectacular dive last time out.

The fishing lived up to it's reputation with the first 5 places all over 100 lb and Bob G in 5th place only just missing out by a few ounces.

There are not many venues that I like fishing more than once a year but this is one of them. Can't wait till next year.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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8th June 2008

Hartleylands Reservoir Lake

Everybody was looking forward to this match. The lake has a great reputation for good catches of carp and silverfish and the weather forecast was good. Although I had never fished it before, I had done my homework, and was confident that I should be able to get a decent catch especially after I found that I had drawn a peg that has a reputation as a flyer.

We were all quietly setting up when John H decided to make a closer inspection of the bottom of the lake and dived in head first. I'm told he could have won a medal at the Olympics but I unfortunately missed the actual event and only caught the aftermath. 15 stone of sopping wet angler is quite a sight.

Anyway when we finally stopped laughing and got on with the fishing some of us actually had a good day, provided they were at the other end of the lake from where I was. At the other end of the lake, contrary to all the advice we had received, they started catching carp straight away and carried on all day. At our end the carp were mostly in hiding until about 2pm though there were some very nice roach coming out.

Our guest, John Barker, was actually top weight with 141-7-8 and fortunately my pairs partner, Bob G, who was also at the other end, went on to win the club competition with 107-11-8 so we managed to qualify for the next round of the pairs competition in spite of my worst efforts. I blame John H. He obviously scared all the fish to the nether regions of the lake with his acrobatics. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I must also give an honourable mention to John N who had 105-2-0. He is certainly going through a purple patch at the moment.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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1st June 2008

Woodpecker Lake

I have a particular affection for Woodpecker Fishery. It has some very nice looking lakes and it was on Osprey that I won my first match with Lee Green A.C. a couple of years ago. BUT and it is a big BUT, the walk from the carpark to the lakes is much too far when you are carrying all the tackle that a typical matchman carries nowadays.

We usually manage to come to an arrangement with the owners so that some of our tackle gets transported to the lakes in a van and frankly if that didn't happen I certainly wouldn't bother with the fishery. We have too many members for whom the journey would be downright dangerous. I have no desire to have to give CPR to some of the ugly geezers we have as members and likewise I wouldn't fancy receiving it from any of them either.

Having said all that, we had a good day there. The weather for once was kind and although I didn't get to grips with my swim until too late on in the day, I still enjoyed myself (thanks to a tip or two from the guys from Crawley Post Office who were fishing a much quieter match on Osprey Lake). It was particularly good to see John H getting a decent catch at last. Further up the lake Biagio was setting about destroying our Club Venue Record with 111-4-0. Great catch Biagio.

We were then faced with the long walk back. Oh Joy!!!

I've come to the conclusion that this was my last visit, as much as I like the place, until they have sorted out the carparking facilities. It's just not worth the walk.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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11th May 2008

Elphicks

I have always quite liked Elphicks and managed to set our club venue record here when I won the match last year with 73-8-0. Even so, it is not an easy water and can be a bit peggy. One of the main problems though is that it is very open with very little shelter. On my first visit it blew a gale and rained persistently in my face all day. On this visit it was a scorcher. It was also my first time fishing the car-park bank so I wasn't sure what to expect.

While everyone around me started off catching from the whistle I made a slow start and was scratching for a bite for the first half-hour while a mild panic set in. Then I started to get into a rhythm and started building a reasonable bag of mostly skimmers with a few carp and a tench thrown in for good measure.

One catch which deserves special mention was the 5-6-0 barbel that gave Mick the run around for quite a while. I'm not a great fan of barbel in stillwater lakes but it certainly brightened his day.

At the end I had 32-0-0, which was good enough for 5th place, and my record was still intact even though Dave B and Mark had a good go at breaking it.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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21st April 2008

Bassetts Farm

This was a new water to us this year and we were not sure what to expect. Although a few people had fished a day there last year, they had fished the second lake of the two rather than the 'Match' lake. Unfortunately Day Tickets are not generally available here as the owner is very careful about taking care of his fishery. Full marks to him for that and the amount of stocking he is doing. Unfortunately, based on the evidence of this visit, the fishery and the fish, are still too immature.

The day started off overcast but a reasonable temperature and just a light breeze to put a ripple on the water. Most of us were catching silverfish but only spasmodically. As the day wore on it got warmer and eventually the sun came out about mid-day and the fish switched off. The afternoon consisted mainly of scratching about for the odd fish and I was lucky enough to catch a 3-14-0 bream. The owner later told us that he hadn't stocked anything that size so it must have grown on a lot since it was stocked.

All in all it was a disappointing day. Given a couple of years this may be a good fishery but not yet.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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6th April 2008

Arrans

It was a no brainer for John H and myself when we discussed whether we were going to fish this match after seeing the weather forecast. NO WAY! After the conditions last time out we were not ready to be snowed on. Others however were not so sensible and had a generally good days fishing with Biagio taking the honours with over a ton. Well done to one and all.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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16th March 2008

Ash Lake, Tylers Common

There are 2 things I hate when I am fishing, apart from not catching of course, wind and rain. The thing I hate even more is wind and rain together. So I was really fed up when the weather forecast, for once, proved correct and we had some of the worst weather we have ever had for one of our matches. Even worse than our match at Elphicks a few years ago. Because we didn't have the whole lake this time we had no option but to peg the bank that was facing directly into the wind and of course that was where I drew along with Bob G, Mick and Ross. Mick being a sensible bloke got his tackle as far as his swim and decided that there was no way he was going to fish in that weather, packed up and went home. After that the weather got worse still.

All around the lake people were putting up umbrellas, so that they could carry them home in bits at the end of the day. I've done that too many times in the past, in much better conditions than we had Sunday, so didn't even consider it as an option. I couldn't even wear my glasses because they are not fitted with wipers. The only option was to tough it out.

I gave up fishing the pole very early on because you couldn't get the presentation right and ended up fishing pellet on the method all day with a "Sidewinder" which actually worked out pretty well. For those that aren't familiar with it, the "Sidewinder" is like a small quiver tip clipped about half way down your rod. When you cast out you point the tip of your rod straight at your bait and adjust the tension on the line so that the Sidewinder is just curved a bit. Even with the rod tip bouncing around all over the place the Sidewinder didn't move until you had a bite. One of the best bite indicators I have ever seen.

I managed to pick up 54lbs of small carp, which was my best catch ever on pellet, and was good enough for third place behind Bob E and Mark. In fact there was just under 350lbs of fish caught which was very good considering the conditions. Will I go back there again? Maybe but probably not in the Winter months.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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2nd March 2008

Horsmonden

After such a good season in 2007 I was looking forward to this match with a certain amount of trepidation especially as I have never really got to grips with this water. As an additional handicap I had introduced a new member, John Helling, and it seems almost traditional now that anybody I introduce beats me, at least on the first time out.

Well, not being one to break with tradition, I did let him beat me. In fact I let everyone else beat me as well! Just to lull them into a false sense of security you understand.

I started off by catching small carp on my first 2 casts. I'm not superstitious by nature but I have found that if I catch that early then it is a bad omen. Today was no exception. I didn't catch another carp all day and spent most of my time attempting to hit fiddly bites from gudgeon and the, very ocassional, roach when I wasn't caught up in a tree that is.

John was in a bit of a rush to get away at the end and it wasn't until midweek that he found out he wasn't last on the day. Oh well. At least someone was happy.

Tight lines.

The Edge

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