EA (Environment Agency) netting shows poor stock levels
At the end of February the Environment Agency (EA) netted the South Pond to assess the fish stocks. It was organised by Kieran Gillingham of the EA. Three netting sweeps were made.
- Sweep 1 from swim 12 to the middle to swim 16 and back to 12
- Sweep 2 from swim 17 to the middle and back to the new outflow
- Sweep 3 from swim 6 to the middle and back to swim 5
A fourth sweep was abandoned as the netted numbers were so poor.
Very few fish were caught in each of the nettings. There were 3 reasonable bream (6-8 oz) from the first drag with 3 or 4 mini roach and one mini perch. The second haul netted a large bucketful of mini roach/silvers. Sweep 3 netted another small number of bream to 6-8 oz. No Carp showed. There were no Rudd, no more Perch and no decent sized Roach either. The results suggested to Kieran and his EA colleagues that the South Pond needs restocking.
The last fish kill in September 2016 was probably far worse than we thought. Lack of stock could be the reason match weights are so low and pleasure fishing so hard, despite the cold weather. It may also be that Carp have been poached so that numbers are much lower. Certainly they are not showing as they once did at the duck area. We normally catch Roach, Rudd, Perch and skimmers at this time of year but despite the maggots going in, very few are being caught. A mixed restocking is being considered to include Bream, Tench, Rudd, Roach, Crucian Carp and Perch. Match weight details going as far back as possible will be looked at to show trends. This should indicate how fish stocks have changed over the years.
An EA gang has done some follow-up work on the South Pond including tree and brush clearance, gate construction and tree/bush trimming. The Station Road side of the pond now looks much more natural.
Hard going for Match Series 8
Bright sunshine welcomed four souls for the final series match of the season. The brisk, cold north easterly chilled quickly. North bank swims were selected for fishing as there was some wind protection plus warmth from the sun. The water held a little colour but ice on the pond as recently as the preceding Friday suggested fishing would be hard. Interestingly, weights decreased as the swim numbers increased, the opposite to usual. The total weight for the competition was 18 lb-05oz but this did not reflect the true nature of the match. The water and fish were very cold.
Chris Shepherd drew swim 9 which is sheltered, catches the sun and is opposite the duck area where Carp, Roach and Bream usually congregate. Not so that day, and Chris struggled only managing to land 7.5 ounces of small silvers and Roach. On swim 7, Steve Edge also struggled, not seeing a twitch or nudge on his waggler until 12:03 pm - three hours after the first cast! Thereafter he had a short burst of activity until the swim died within 30 minutes of that first bite. He weighed in 1 lb-05 oz. The fish did not respond to maggot, bread or even caster. 'Prof' Moriarty fished his final match before flying off to join ship in the Gulf. Seated on swim 6, he too struggled. He fished feeder/bomb to the middle and close in on the pole/whip. He landed two silvers in five hours and just as time was called hooked a carp on the bomb. Allowed to play and land the fish, he weighed in a total of 2 lb-03oz, the carp contributing 2 lb-01oz of that. It also coincided with a wintry snow flurry at the end of the match.
The winner was acting Match Steward Andy Weavil. He drew the 'banker' peg one. Fishing the bomb/feeder towards the trees bordering Fairlawns' garden, he managed to land 14 lb-07oz. However, his first take was not until 11:30 am but then caught four carp and the resident bream hybrid (nudging 2 lbs.) that cohabits that part of the pond. Well done Andy. You probably clinched the trophy with that win. Andy's fish responded to bread, meat, maggot, pellet. In other words the fish took whatever was cast as long as it landed right in front of them and they did not need to expend valuable energy in the cold conditions.
The Points Only match was due to have been held on the first Sunday in March but had to be postponed owing to the snow and ice. It has been rescheduled for mid-March. The lack of silver fish is a concern as they are targeted in this match. Maybe it is the cold weather but using maggot or pinkies generally generates good activity. We shall see.
April & May activities
The matches have finished, but the pond is still open for individual fishing. The points and weights are being added up to see who has won the various trophies, in preparation for presenting the awards at the AGM. The club's AGM and trophy presentation will be held in the Ruby room at the Jubilee Hall on Friday 27th April at 7pm.
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 applications are now closed for the 2017-18 season but will reopen at the AGM.
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 place.
Club web site
For more information about the club and its activities, the club's web site can be found at: www.bwpfc.org.uk
Steve Edge and Barry Jerome