top of page

18/11/23 - Final Junior Points Match - Chester's Lake, Whitemoor.

As I drove in the early morning drizzle, I thought to myself how unbelievable it is that I find myself travelling to the last points match of the year. Where has the year gone?

Even in the dreary half light of a wet November morning, the orange leaves almost glowed against the blackness of the tree trunks and Autumn in all its’ many colours had painted itself on the landscape. The driving was tricky, but it was a wonderful morning to be alive.

I positioned the direction signs for Amy in all the strategic places I could find and made my way along the lane to my destination. Whitemoor Tom said that the small stream close to the gate had puked all over the road, and indeed it had. But, not enough to prevent me from travelling the extra 30 metres to the gate.

A quick phone call to Richie Butler for some pegging advice and we were set for action.

Martin Vine

There is not a name that we didn't call each other! I loved him for it too...

With it being the final round, it was time to cast our thoughts back to my dear old mate, Martin Vine. We lost Martin suddenly just over five years ago. But it still feels like yesterday. I still think of Martin on most days, and it gladdens me to recall the many hilarious fishing trips that we shared together over all too few years. Time offered to us is seldom long enough and very precious. My time spent with Martin was never wasted and I enjoyed his company immensely. I truly loved the guy, and this is a special way to remember one of the worlds nicest people.

The last round usually means that the junior champion is crowned, and this year we had three contenders for the title. Of course, like all junior events, it is all about having fun and enjoying the day. But the naming of a new champ is always exciting for me.

Gentle Jon Bass got the ball rolling by drawing out the peg numbers as follows: Peg 1: Jack Cryer (T’other Jack) Peg 2: Kenzie Toulson (The Angling Ninja) Peg 3: Tesni Campbell (The Quiet One) Peg 4: Austin Scott-Kennedy (Mowgli) Peg 5: Jack Copp (Twiglet) Peg 6: Harry Cryer (Carnage) Peg 7: Josiah Wells-Parkes (His Lordship)

Your ’Clump’ of coaches (Correct collective noun for four or more coaches) for this weekend are: Graham Howard – Inky Jerry Bracey – Blinky Tim Broughton – Pinky Jon Bass – Clyde (Trudie didn't get it either...They are the names of the ghosts on the Pac-Man game! Keep up, Boomers!)

Peg One: Jack Cryer: I asked Gentle Jon Bass to execute the draw because some cheating little monkeys had been trying to feel for certain numbers in the draw bag with their fingers. It also meant that the damming finger of blame could be squarely levelled at him, rather than me…

No flies, etc…. Jack was nominated for peg one and the shortest of walks. In fishing circles, short walks do not always throw up the best pegs, mainly because every goes there and no self-respecting fish would ever hang out there. Whether it was Jon or just a difficult day, Jack was having a tough day. To be honest, nowhere was setting the world alight. Even the open match anglers on the Canal Lake were having a struggle, so maybe we shouldn’t blame Jon too much…Not this time anyway. Feeder and pole tactics were the chosen jack-attack and so he set about trying to encourage cold Carp to have a munch. The fishing was sporadic at best, but Jack did manage to string some bites together towards the later stages of the match to finish with a weight of 11lbs 7ozs which would be the target for most of the juniors today. He managed to finish in fourth place on a tricky day, well done…

Peg Two: Kenzie Toulson: Oh I’m tired… Oh my knees hurt…

Oh I'm cold... Oh my Lord… Tina had been out with the girls and may have been feeling the exertion at Whitemoor today. Exertion that manifested itself into a knee that had her walking as awkwardly as I was with my bubble-wrap legs. But bless her, she stuck it out to watch the Angling Ninja hurl his feeder around his end of Chester’s Lake with gay abandon! All of Kenzie’s fish looked exhausted because they were having to travel a fair distance to find his feeder. To the tree, to the island, to the bush, to the island, back to the tree. Up, down, left, right...It was exhausting to watch.

But you could see Kenzie thinking his way through his match and trying different things to get bites. He might like to think about emptying the pot on the end of his pole if the ball of bait doesn't come out. I mean, you wouldn't just leave it in there, would you? I haven't seen a bend in a pole that short (5-metres) since 1982! One of the things Kenzie did try was to send his mum to the loo in order to fool the fish in thinking that the swim was being vacated. I’m pleased to report that it worked at least twice. Kenzie tipped 8lbs 4ozs onto the scales on a difficult time of year to be fishing. Good job Kenzie!

Peg Three: Tesni Campbell: Every lake has its quiet corner, and today that was known as peg three. Tesni and Ian had no misconceptions about why they were there today. Today was purely about fishing a new lake and, maybe, trying out some new techniques. Being one of our newest juniors, Tesni is a little shy and quiet at the moment. A refreshing change from some of the gobby oafs (I’m joking!!). But I think she is learning already, even if she has to ask her dad to interpret some of the babble that is presented to her. Food is clearly a big part of her day-to-day life. On more than a few occasions I saw her pole rig sitting with its arms folded in the margin whilst she tucked into a bread roll or the like. Maybe they are just too good to miss? Under the guidance of Gentle Jon, Tesni was improving her whip techniques today. Mainly because she found the pole a bit cumbersome, and we all know how she feels there sometimes! Tesni absorbs the information (once translated) well and, most importantly, enjoyed her day. She weighed in one Carp and some ickle babby Carps to keep it company for 2lbs 9ozs. Good effort Tesni, well done…

Peg Four: Austin Scott-Kennedy: I’ll give you a minute to go and make a cup of tea and some snacks before you start reading this one… Go on, I’ll wait…

All done? Good. Then I shall begin…

Austin has had a blinding season. Consistently finishing in the top three all year and therefore leading the championship. He struggled last time out at Luckfield, and the lead slipped from him. Jack is exceptional at Whitemoor, so I decided to give Austin a fighting chance by outlining a match plan for him to follow. Now, I’m not going to sound him out for a rocketing here, nor do I want to set him out for example. But, without going into detail, it’s fair to say that the plan wasn’t followed. With 90-minutes to go, I could watch no longer and stepped in to help. Depths plumbed, rigs changed, bait fed in the right area, and 30-seconds later he was playing only his third fish of the day. Within a minute he was playing another, and another. Oh, Austin… I was frustrated, dare I say angry, because the level of enthusiasm that Austin has is right up the there with Jack or Ollie, and he’s proved he can turn in good results week after week. But, for whatever reason, today he was off his A-game… The catch rate that Austin had towards the end of the match would have been enough to at least challenge Jack, and definitely to come second. But as it turned out, Austin would have to settle for third. He weighed 12lbs 5ozs. I felt gutted, and I’m sure Austin did too. But you never learn from a good or easy day. Today’s lessons… 1. Listen to the coach/coaches when it comes to bait lists and match plans. 2. Execute the match plan to the letter. 3. Blame the coach if the match plan doesn’t work. 4. Always keep your head. (Even I could learn from that one.)

My message to Austin is this. Although you dropped the ball a bit on the last two matches, you fished your butt off all year, and I’m proud of you for that. Learn from this and come back stronger because you’re never measured on how you fall. Your character will be measured on how you hold yourself and act when you get up. I know it hurts, but you will have plenty more chances in the future, I’m sure. You had a great year in ’23 and I and the other coaches have been very much impressed. I’m proud of you, well done!

Peg Five: Jack Copp: Once I’d given Dave a stern warning and threatened to handcuff him to a tree or fence post, Jack was free to contemplate turning is four-point lead into his second championship. Like Austin, Jack had drawn a familiar peg on Chester’s Lake and was ready. After a brief look on the feeder at the start, Jack quickly made the decision that his match was going to be won or lost from close range, and he was right. Short pole tactics to the tree on his right, and his left hand margin paid off in spades and, by the end, if the second and third place angler pooled their weights together, Jack would still have won by 2ozs! It was an impressive performance, but I can’t help thinking that he was cruising after the first 90-minutes. Helped with a sizable 5lb chuck, Jack tipped 24lbs 15ozs on to the scales. Enough to win the match and take the championship for the second year in a row.

I find it hard to believe that I’ve known Jack for nearly 5-years considering he is only 11 years old now. I’ve watched his ability and his confidence grow year upon year, and we all had the feeling that a championship was only a matter of time. He had a spluttering start to the year in ’23, blowing a bit hot and cold in the early months. But since June and since getting his new pole, Jack has found a new level of ability. Dave’s investment in Jacks’ skills is paying off and it won’t long before Jack is starting to upset the senior ranks of the club. Jack is a homegrown talent. He is immersed in fishing, soaking up every crumb of information. So much so that he has an excess of knowledge and dishes out what he doesn’t need to anyone within range, whether it was asked for or not! Even in the last part of the year, Jack has tamed the uncontrolled haste into raw speed and efficiency. He always has a plan and sticks to it, no matter what. (there’s a lesson…) As soon as the draw was finished, a few of us felt that the chances of anyone else winning had gone with it. A good angler on a peg with history is a tough animal to beat. Although Jack said that the Silverfish title was his goal (He got that as well by the way), never gave up. It’s fair to say that he didn’t do it alone. Dave has been a great help to Jack in all the events, getting him organised and sorted. But you get the feeling that Jack is fishing more independently, however hard that is for Dave! They are great team. I’m proud of you Jack! Our two-time junior champion…

Peg Six: Harry Cryer: Carnage sat quietly down the far end of the lake, and for a lot of the match, you would have thought that Tom had invested in a new, pondside ornament. Harry Gnome barely moved, only to recast his pellet loaded squirrel missile. To be fair, I don’t think worried many squirrels today. Sadly, the fish weren’t much at threat either. Harry knows how to crank in big weights, but if the big weights don’t want to be cranked, what chance do you have? Harry’s one method attack will hopefully be addressed in the coaching sessions of next year, but he seems happy on the feeder. I imagine he would have been happier with more than 5lbs 14ozs. Harry started the year strongly and even won the first match and its accompanying trophy, but a few unavoidable absences scuppered his title hopes quite early on. Like his brother, Harry is slowly improving his fishing skills, and I look forward to advancing them both further next year.

I posted a gallery of pictures because Harry pulled a face like he had just pooed his pants. So, I told him so...This was the result....

Peg Seven: Josiah Wells-Parkes: Jo had drawn the less desirable end of the lake on the day. The wind was pushing all the leaves into his corner making it difficult to fish properly. We’ve all been there and it’s a nightmare. The other nightmare was being sold Maize instead of Sweetcorn!! James was right! You wouldn't want that in a sandwich! The fish were not being kind to either Jo or my credibility. Jo was on the same match plan as Austin and was doing his best to stick to it as best he could. I watched him for a fair while, but things were not happening for him. The leaves were being….Let’s say troublesome! Towards the end of the match, something clicked and he managed to find some fish that even his dad hadn’t seen him catch. He finished with 12lb 9ozs, enough for second on the day and in the championship Jo’s fishing has been on an upward curve this year, particularly after the visit from Callum Dicks. Jo seemed inspired and changed his style and approach enough to make visible improvements to his skills. He won the Senior/Junior pairs with Si Wagner (Catching more than his partner I might add) and went on the following weekend to take his maiden solo match win. Like most of the others, Jo is very invested in his fishing, right down to asking questions about the points scores being correct! I’m not too proud to admit he was right either, I just wish he wouldn’t check my maths very flaming week! Considering his medical conditions, Jo has a love for fishing that is great to see. Even if it means a few days of pain and discomfort afterwards. Jo should know that I am very proud of his efforts this year, and I look forward to seeing his challenge to be Champion next year. Well done mate, you didn’t give up and pushed it down to the wire. Great effort!

The championship fished as follows: 1st 213 pts – Jack Cop 2nd 204 pts – Josiah Wells-Parkes 3rd 201 pts – Austin Scott-Kennedy

It is our closest championship finish since we started. Congratulations all.

I will post a full list of results in the end of the end of season review.

Thank you to my team of coaches Jerry, Tim, and Jon.

Thank you to Tom at Whitemoor for allowing us to use this wonderful fishery that even looks great in the muddy rain.

Well done to all the parents that turned out on a chilly November day to ’chill’ with their anglers…

The next and last event of the year is next weekend on the 25th November at Todber Manor on Homeground Lake. The draw is at 09:00, and we fish from 10:00 until 15:00. The fee for this event is £15.00 to cover costs.

Dare I wear my Santa hat in November? Tune in next week to find out!

Take care all, Juniors Sec…

86 views0 comments


bottom of page