Bishops Waltham Parish Fishing Club

Hardy competitors braved the gales during the Silver Fish match, the Environment Agency have resealed the North/South pond sluice boards

Dark and dismal conditions for the Silver Fish match

The Silver Fish match was held on Sunday 10th December in dank, dark, dismal and exceedingly windy conditions. Four guys arrived with gear to fish. Roger Pilling rolled up minus gear to see if anyone was competing as the conditions were so bad, so had to return home to collect his tackle (a little eccentric?).  All agreed to fish Station Road swims in the hope that we would have some shelter from the south-westerly gale force gusts. These were horrendous at times and the wind swirled and roared through the trees all through the match. There were heavy rain bursts too.

The extreme conditions did not bode well. Fearful of tree falls, we proceeded to set up. Indeed in the course of the five hour match, Rod had his brolly pole bent, Roger’s brolly was blown away and the top was broken off. Steve's was tied down but blew inside out and he frequently had to hang on to it. Andy just sat in the open and braved the elements on swim 13!  Perhaps Santa would bring him a brolly for Christmas?

Everyone caught fish but some caught more than others and all experienced a lull in bites from about 11:00am to midday.  It seemed to correspond with the wind veering from the SW to S? Rod claimed first place, mainly using a pole top 3 close in, as long pole fishing was  hard in the wind. He had over 6 lbs to win the match. Roger used a waggler rod like a whip and to good effect with bread bait from under his brolly at about 10+ m. He did concede that he had bought ‘expensive’ maggots but hardly used them except for loose feeding.

Steve used a little ground bait with caster and maggot on the hook. He started with an 8m pole-whip but needed to go further out, so switched to cast a 12’ waggler to about 10-15 metres. It was hard to cast a waggler, or a whip, from under a brolly in that wind, though. Roger and Steve both had just over 3 lbs of silver fish. Their weights were very close, but Roger was just ahead. Andy had nice fish to about 1.5 lbs No-one saw a carp or any perch despite the maggots being thrown in. All of the fish were very healthy.

The EA (Environment Agency) resealed the North/South pond sluice boards

When the Northbrook stops flowing from the North to the South pond the sluice boards hold back water in the South pond. These boards have been leaking over the last few years meaning that during the summer the water level in the South pond gradually drops. On a cold frosty morning in December the EA came along and resealed the boards so that they will not leak in the future.

The first step was to take out the boards which resulted in a lot of water from the South pond flowing into the North pond as a stream along the channel.

Once the water level was low enough they were able to get into the sluice and using a special mastic were able to seal any leaks between the concrete sill and between the boards. Fortunately there was heavy rain the following night and the South pond water level quickly recovered. With the South pond silting up, the resealed boards will help to retain a better depth of water during the summer months.

February & March activities

The matches conclude in March and the points and weights are added up to see who has won the various trophies, in preparation for presenting the awards at the AGM in April. The final match of the Match Series is in February, weather permitting. If the pond is frozen then there is still time to reschedule it in March. The winner of the Match Series is the angler with the most points at the end of the season choosing their six best results from eight possible matches. This approach allows for the possibility of missing a match or two due to holidays or other commitments. The last match in the calendar is the Points only match where it is number of fish, rather than weight, which decides the winner.

Joining the Club

If you are interested in joining the club please contact our membership secretary Cathy Naylor on 07934-895513 for an application form. Alternatively, applications can be made by downloading a membership form from the website and sending, with an SAE, to our membership secretary (details above and on the web site). The membership year runs from mid-June.

Membership is open to anyone who lives in Bishops Waltham, plus a number of Associate membership places (for those living outside the Parish). Priority is given to Parish membership (especially juniors), but anyone living outside of the Parish wishing to join should contact Cathy for an Associate Membership space.

Club web site

For more information about the club and its activities, the club's web site can be found at:

Steve Edge and Barry Jerome