Environment Agency (EA) restocked the South Pond
The numbers of fish caught over the last few years have been declining, demonstrated from match results and a sample netting carried out by the Environment Agency (EA) in 2018. There are several causes which have contributed to this which include poaching of the carp, a "fish-kill" in 2017 when oxygen levels dropped suddenly in the summer and fish which have escaped to the North Pond when the stream flows. A management report, authored by Kieren Gillingham of the EA, recommended restocking with a variety of fish species to complement those present in the pond.
Following this recommendation an initial restocking was carried out in early December 2018. This will be monitored and further restocking carried out as required. The South Pond was stocked with 1300 fish which included Tench, Crucian Carp, Roach and Bream. The fish arrived in oxygenated tanks on a trailer from Newbury and were transferred by net to the duck area of the pond. All fish appeared to be in excellent condition. We were especially keen to see the Tench and Crucian carp, two species which had been present in the South Pond many years ago, but which had not been seen for some time. We are hoping these introductions will establish new populations of Tench and Crucian carp.
Silver Fish Match: The 'usuals' attended with Rod Langthorne making a welcome return.
Andy Weavil decided Station Road swims would provide some shelter from the wind and forecast rain. Swims were drawn from 10 to 19 in order to give each competitor room to fish. It remained warm throughout the five hour match and the threatened rain was a brief, very light shower. This produced a beautiful rainbow which was mirrored in the pond. Sadly, the camera had been forgotten - again.
Feeder fishing was not really an option as this would be more likely to produce a carp or two and not silvers. Consequently, waggler fishing was the modus operandi with maggot or bread as hookbait over loose fed maggot and or small amounts of hand thrown groundbait. Fishing was relatively hard and at mid to long distance. Everyone caught fish but some caught more than others! The total weight caught was 32 pounds, averaging about 5 lbs 6 oz per competitor.
Andy Weavil was fifth with 3 lbs exactly, fourth was Steve Edge with 4 lbs, third was Chris Shepherd with a creditable 7 lbs-3 oz. Runner up was Roger Pilling fishing with his trusty centre-pin reel. He landed 8 lb-2 oz which included a 14 oz bream. Serious fishing from Roger, but the winner surpassed that. On his return to match fishing, Rod Langthorne netted 9 lbs-11 oz from a shallow swim that has not been match fished for years. Well done Rod.
The same five clubmen who fished the 'Silvers' match met to celebrate the new year. The annual Hangover Match is a one-off competition. Competitors each bring a bottle(s) and fish for the privilege of first pick of the array. We all shook hands, wished each other well for the coming year and drew pegs. Roger enjoyed a civilised draw at 9:00 am.
The weather forecast was for a light easterly breeze, mild but overcast. It was one of those dull, dismal, depressing winter days that may chill the fish or cause the opposite and they bite well. Any method could be used and any fish counted. Three guys opted to go for the carp on feeder whilst two used float tactics. A lot of flotsam was present circuiting the pond. The Match Secretary elected to use both banks for the draw so each competitor had room to catch. However, Andy Weavil's theory did not work for him. He did not weigh in and did not even have a bite. We have photographic evidence too! He fished the same swim Roger landed over 8 pounds from in the last match. Fishing can be fickle.
Fourth overall was Chris Shepherd fishing swim 5 from the north bank. He had little joy using the maggot feeder at distance and only amassed 1 lbs-2 oz in the three hours. Third was Rod Langthorne sitting directly opposite Chris on Station Road. He had decided to feeder fish too but only caught close in. He landed 1 lbs-10 oz. His swim was one swim on from the previous match, so he could have fished the same area .... In second place was Roger Pilling. He netted 3 lbs-5 oz of silvers using maggot and bread off swim 17. Steve Edge won the match from swim 2 using waggler tactics. Action was slow with silvers but just after noon he hit a tremble on his float. Nine minutes later he cajoled a carp into his landing net and breathed a sigh of relief that his 18 hook and 1 lb-14 oz hook-link held. It was around 4 lb-5 oz and a plodder. Overall he weighed in 6 lb-8 oz to take his pick of the assembled bottle prizes.
It was suggested the match duration should be extended in future as Rod and Chris travel from afar. It is worth considering.
February & March activities
Only two matches remain for the 2018-19 season. Where does time go? They are the last Match Series match 8 and the Points Only match.
The 2018-19 Match Calendar is up on the website and a copy can be downloaded for reference.
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 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