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05/11/22 - Martin Vine Memorial Trophy - Match #5 - Canal Lake - Whitemoor

This match is dedicated to my mate Martin Vine who passed away suddenly 4 years ago. Rest in peace dear friend....

Tom at Whitemoor had advised me that a better option for the Shrimps for this match was the Canal Lake, and not our usual haunt on the Top (Donut) Lake. Having not fished on the Canal Lake for quite some time it was looking like an unknown quantity to start with. But I decided to seek the knowledge of more experienced beings than myself. Messages sent to Richard Butler and Steve Nadin, both proven anglers at Whitemoor, and a chat with the big old teddy bear that lives in Alan's Angling store, gave me a wider picture to pass on to the group of Juniors. One of whom would walk away as our new champion. My thanks to the above-named people that took time to offer their thoughts.

A couple of juniors only had a mathematical chance but, seven juniors could potentially win the title. So, it should be an exciting match to say the least.

The weather was certainly going to play its part this weekend with copious amounts of water being dumped everywhere for days before hand. Strangely Friday was a really lovely day, and I couldn't help wondering if the admin in the weather Gods department had made an error because we had been quite lucky over the rest of the year weatherwise.

For once the weather people had got it spot on as it rained all the way to Wimborne. The waterproofs were going to be tested today. Right from the off, the day was taking its own twists and turns as I received an unusual message from Mr Bass. He was going to be late as he had to go to Bristol! He would explain later apparently. I wrote back hoping that everything was ok. The next message was from Tim Oram saying that James was feeling under the weather and would not be attending. I hope he feels better soon. The third message was a shocker. The little lady that had been leading the championship all year, was not feeling well either! Right there, my dream for a female champion, the first that the club would have ever known in over 70 years, evaporated before my eyes. Faith Stone has fished a blinder this year, and I had a good feeling that she could win. But, if you're not well, there's no point in sitting in the rain getting worse. She can be proud of her achievements this year, and may be next year will be the one... Get well soon...

Jake Taylor had already had to back out earlier in the week because of his parent's work commitments. So, 9 were down to 6.

I had a chat with Tom when I arrived and took his advice on which pegs to use. 7 to 19 I was told, so off I went to put the pegs in. Some the platforms on the Canal are wooden, some are metal. Both are very slippery when they are wet, but at least the wooden ones have an edge around them to catch slippery feet. So, I left the metal ones out. This would come back to haunt me later on. The Juniors were now arriving headed up by an energy drink fuelled Jack Copp. He was so animated that Dave had him on a chain designed for a Pit Bull terrier! Obviously that part is not true, but let's just say he was 'well lit' as the kids apparently say these days...He was certainly fragrant like he had been eating Pot-Pourri.

We had a chat, did the draw and headed off to the lake.

Now, this is where the day takes a turn. I'd been advised to use up to peg 7 and that pegs 1 to 5 would be used for anyone that turned up wanting to fish. But, because I had left out a few pegs for health and safety reasons (Who's going to argue with that?), our last peg was actually on peg 4. Tom didn't come to look, and I didn't think to tell him. So, as our juniors filed through the gate to the lake, so did a couple of adult anglers. I approached them and asked what they were doing and that there was a junior match on the Canal today. I won't go into all that was said, but it is safe to say that the reaction of the two anglers that had 'paid to fish, so they were going to sit where they wanted to because Tom had said so', even though there was clearly a peg number on one of the pegs that their gear had been dumped onto. What followed was a deplorable barrage of foul language that I took exception to, and so did a couple of the parents in ear shot. It didn't help that Tom and Austin started to set up in the wrong peg twice! (Not their fault). Tom was nowhere to be found either but, because Paul Cryer's two boys were separated and there was a spare peg next to one of them, we moved Harry to peg 4 next to his brother. This left the two 'Gentlemen' plenty of room to fish from. I did seek them out to smooth things over because I hate conflict. We shook hands and I told them that we had moved one of the Shrimps to give them space. I hope the look on my face revealed my inner frustration when I was told 'It's ok, we're happy when we are now.' So, what was that all about then??? Where's the Wookie when you need him? The Wookie (Sgt Bracey) was off getting stabbed for Covid by the way.

I hoped that the testing part of the day was over. I was comforted by soothing words from Annamama who apparently 'hates seeing me upset'. It's happened a lot this year and I don't like it...

Back to the fishing then and the draw went as follows,

Peg 1: Austin (Camouflage) Peg 2: Jack (Twiglet) Peg 3: Harry (Thing #1)

Peg 4: Jack (Thing #2)

Peg: 5: Ollie (Aquaboy) Peg 6: Josiah (His Lordship)

Just for information, new nicknames for other juniors include T'other Jack (Jack Grassby) Splish Splash (Liam Serkis)

The Three Musketeers on duty today were, Porthos - Graham Howard ~ (Fat, loud, brash, and self-important. He is extremely vain.)*

Aramis - Chris Ward ~ (handsome young man, quiet and somewhat foppish)*

Athos - Jon Bass ~ (Something of a father figure. He is older than his comrades, and is distinguished in every way--intellect, appearance, bravery, swordsmanship)*

*Disclaimer* Descriptions are of the characters, NOT the individuals playing them. Any similarities are purely co-incidental*

Peg 2: Austin Scott Kennedy: Austin has impressed me this year. Not only because he has improved since joining us (Learning that he only has to cast his feeder into the water, and not to the third field beyond the horizon) and he sold a lizard(?) to by a pole with his own money, but that he also asks a myriad of questions. His Dad, Tom, told me that his literally has to be held back from filling my WhatsApp page with a billion questions, morning, noon, and night! But I like that. That shows a passion for what he does, something that you cannot buy from shops or the internet. Not only has he improved, but that he wants to improve further. That is why I am hereby officially naming Austin as the lead coaches' choice for The Revels Cup for the Most Improved Newcomer.

Congratulations Austin, it is well deserved...

Like all the juniors, Austin found the going tougher than I'd hoped. But, considering the weather conditions during the previous week, not totally surprising. He finished the day with a shade under 7lbs at 6lbs 15ozs. Good enough for 4th on the day and 4th in the championship in his first season.

Peg 3: Jack Copp:

At one point during the day, I seem to remember standing with my fellow coaches, watching Jacks casting skills and shaking our heads with amazement. The lad was on it for sure. I swear he could have taken the wings off of a dragonfly at 30 metres today. It must have been the five gallons of energy drink that he consumed beforehand. I look forward to the aromatic car parks from here on in as the others try to see if it works for them too.

Jack used a slightly smaller feeder than the others which I believe fed smaller amounts of bait into his swim. No one mentioned the use of worms to me either but, Jack and Dave had bought some with them and used them to great effect. Small Carp were steadily being added to his catch throughout the three-and-a-half-hour match so that Jack was able to accumulate a winning weight of 23lbs 15ozs. Not only did he win the match, the Martin Vine Memorial Trophy, and a voucher for £15 for Alan's Angling, but he also sealed the championship with an unassailable 83 points. With only few weeks to go before the end of the year, there is a reasonable chance that Jack will also receive the Jerry Bracey Trophy for the best Specimen fish with his 1lb 9ozs Roach from Luckfield too. Add to that the Senior/Junior pairs and Junior pairs match wins, and you have to say that it has been Jack's year in 2022!

Congratulations to Jack (and his personal coach) for his efforts, well done!

Peg 4:

Harry Cryer:

Being a new angler and drawing next to one with experience can be a bit soul destroying. I know from experience that it hurts to be 'mullered' from the next peg even when you are an adult.

But it was a tough day and Harry can be proud of his efforts today. He and his brother have started the journey of their angling careers this year and, hopefully, will return in 2023 so that we can improve their skills further. Harry weighed in 3lbs 14ozs made up of small Carp and a decent skimmer. Good effort Harry!

Peg 5: Jack Cryer: Jack had, by far, the toughest day. But he quietly and confidently tried for the full duration of the match, but it wasn't to be his day today. Jack managed to convince just one small Skimmer that it was hungry enough to have a nibble. He shouldn't feel too bad because the last time the juniors came to the Canal Lake, even some extremely experienced juniors that we had at the time struggled to catch. I told Jack and Harry that, because they had joined later in the year, that they had missed out on vital training that would have made them better prepared for the colder months. But if you have only caught one fish all day and can still smile and say that you have had fun, then I think you are hopelessly hooked on fishing!

Peg 6:

Oliver Smith:

With Faith not coming, Ollie was in prime spot along with Jack and Jo, to take the crown. He had drawn down what we all though was the better end of the lake, and his confidence was high. A happy Ollie is a confident Ollie. But both demeanour and confidence both ebbed away as it became clear that Jack was cherry picking Carp for fun. I don't believe that he did anything wrong, he had even bought some worms with him which he found out about a little too late in the day. But I don't think he was at his peak today. His usual impeccable casting was a little off at times, and I know he is struggling when he looks at me with those puppy dog eyes in a pleading fashion to help him do something about it. Annamama was on form however and, once she had convinced the wunderkind to try in the margins, will no doubt claim responsibility for at least one of Ollies fish. Weighing in with 17lb 2ozs, Ollie was just a couple of fish short of retaining his champion's crown. But he gets a solid second in the championship which is not too shabby. I know it will be of no interest to a seasoned winner though. I hope he doesn't feel too bad about it because, when it goes down to the wire like this, someone has to come second. But it means that you have pushed hard all year and he should be proud of that. The Silverfish that he caught did seal the 2022 Silverfish Championship for Ollie.

Ollie took 2nd on the day and a £10 voucher for Alan's Angling Shack. Good Job!

Peg 7:

Josiah Wells-Parkes:

Jo was on, what in my view at least, was the peg I would want today. I've never even seen much of this end of the lake before, let alone fished or been drawn on it. But it looked tasty with trees, bushes, clean banks, and an aerator to aim at. I don't think anyone fished as hard as Jo did today. His match win at Luckfield had dragged him right into contention for the title and, with this peg, I thought he could do it too. Jo weighed 13lbs 5ozs, finished a few fish behind Ollie, and won a tidy third place on the day with a £5 voucher for Alan's Angling Emporium.

So, there you have it. We rounded the season with a bit more aggro, lots of smiles, and a new Junior Champion, a runner-up, and a recrowned Silverfish champion.

Thank you to Tom at Whitemoor for allowing us to use the venue today.

Thank you to Chris Ward and Jon Bass for their sage wisdom today. Incidentally, the reason for Jon's late arrival was because his wife had forgotten her diving equipment for her trip to Scotland. Yes, you did read that right. Mr and Mrs Bass are now trying to conquer Scotland from the sea after many land assaults have failed. We wish them luck.

Thank you to the parents and juniors of DDAS for helping me to want to do more. Let's see what next year hopefully brings...

Our next event is the last event of 2022, the Christmas Match at Todber Manor. Please book in using the SPOND App for your phone or computer if you have not done so already.

Take care all.

Juniors Sec.

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