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21/10/23 - Junior Points Match #10 - Dead Tree & Trendals - Revels

Today marks the tenth anniversary of my fathers passing. He taught me to fish and introduced me to a lifelong addiction to fishing. Today I have had lots of laughs with my fishing family, most of whom had no idea of just what this day means to me. I want to say thank you to all those present at Revels who made this sad milestone a little easier to bare.

The fourth attempt to get the juniors to do some ‘Proper fishing’ was again thwarted by unfavourable weather. Conversations with Ian Paulley, Sturminster Secretary, and local river expert resulted in yet another postponed river event because of heavy rainfall.

The dates for the river and for our last trip to Revels were swapped around, giving us one last chance to hold a match on the Stour on the fourth of November. But even the fishing on Dead Tree Lake and Trendals Lake was in question after five days of rain in some way, shape, or form. Main Lake was a no-go due to the clarity of the water, so we were on two different Lakes for the first time in a junior session outside of the junior pairs’ matches.

With only three points matches left including this one, everything was on the line to become the 2023 junior champion, and I wouldn’t have believed the way the draw panned out.

The draw went as follows: Dead Tree Lake: Peg 1: Tesni Campbell (The quiet one) Peg 2: Liam Serkis (The Road-Runner (Non-competitor)) Peg 3: Kenzie Toulson (Mr Bail Arm) Peg 4: Harry Cryer (Carnage) Peg 5: Jack Cryer (T’other Jack) Trendals Lake: Peg 6: Oliver Smith (Aquaboy) Peg 7: Jack Copp (Twiglet) Peg 8: Josiah Wells-Parkes (His Lordship) Peg 9: Austin Scott-Kennedy (New nickname, ‘Mowgli’)

Your coaches for today were: Representing Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, New Zealand – Graham Howard. Representing Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales – Jerry Bracey. Representing Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, Massachusetts, USA – Neil Haine. Representing Weymouth, UK – Dave Copp (Coaching support)

It's going to be tricky reporting on a lake that I was not looking after because I was overseeing the first five pegs with Neil. But I will do my best…

Peg One: Tesni Campbell: Miss Campbell had drawn at the far end of Dead Tree Lake and, on reflection, not in a great area. It became clear very early on in the match that the DTL would be a difficult lake to tame today. Earlier in the week it had thrown up the top two weights in the midweek match. But that was before the rains came and ruined everything. The first half of the match the weather was overcast and raining. But the sun came out later to reveal the water to be not as coloured as was first thought. Tesni had drawn the shallowest end of a shallow lake, and not even the bravest or stupidest Carp would venture up there. Today was Tesni’s first ever match which throws up its own challenges without difficult conditions to content with. She tried the feeder to no avail for a while, but soon realised that her nets needed to be filled with something other than dropped bait. Out came the maggots and the whip to catch some obliging Perch and the odd guest Roach. For her first attempt at fishing a match, and taking into consideration her lack of experience, I think she should be proud of what she managed to achieve today. I think she enjoyed her day catching one of her favourite fish with a long whip, something that will be helpful in two weeks-time on the Stour. With a modest weight of 2lbs 12ozs, I am proud of her efforts, and equally as glad that she came along today. Well done, Tesni…

Peg Two: Liam Serkis: Non-competitor Liam arrived with mum Hazel a little behind the others and was gifted peg two for his session today. Armed with a beast of a Carp rod, I suggested that a little lighter approach may be wiser on such a shallow, moody lake such as Dead Tree. I have finally dubbed Liam with a nickname of ‘The Road-Runner’, on account of his insistence on using a bite alarm, or ‘Beep beep’. Now you get it… Like the others on DTL, Liam was going to find the going tough, but even so, managed one or two Carp before he (and Hazel) had had enough. I thought the temperature changes were down to my new base layer that I was sporting today. But apparently everyone was experiencing strange fluctuations in air temperature. Unless we were all wearing new base layers? Liam only stays as long as he wants to and that is fine be me. Both Hazel and Liam are always more than welcome to come fishing with us, and I look forward to seeing them both again a in two weeks-time.

Peg Three: Kenzie Toulson: Like Tesni, Kenzie was a first-time competitor with DDAS Juniors, although he has joined us at some of the coaching sessions during the summer. Mum Tina had her mind firmly set in the shorts and vest tops of the summer months as she tried to walk the chill from her cold toes. There were times when the winter felt like it was truly here and even your lead coach was rubbing his hands together to get some feeling back at times. Kenzie is still building his equipment and does well with what he has. The whip/pole that he uses worked well in the summer for hard fighting Carp. But now the fish needed a little finesse, the piano wire tension of the factory fitted elastic was ‘Rattling off’ any fish that he hooked. Something that I will remedy for him before the next event. I let Kenzie borrow my spare pole which I think caused Tina a great deal of anxiety due to its value. But the lad used it well enough for me to be unconcerned. Sadly, due to the depth of the water and its’ clarity, the fish would not come close enough in any number for Kenzie to make it work, so it was back on the feeder to see if he could thrash out a result. The lack fish on the short line could have been down to Kenzie occasionally forgetting to open his bail-arm. We all do it from time to time, including me, so you can’t blame him. The feeder worked towards the end, and he even managed ‘a proper one’ of close to 7lbs for a final weight of 12lbs 2ozs. Kenzie can now proudly say that his first ever match weight was into double figures! Good job Master Toulson!

Peg Four: Harry Cryer: Carnage had drawn a peg that is usually and absolute flyer in the right conditions. Indeed, 16lbs of silverfish had come out of it only days before. But, as I have already mentioned, the monsoon came and rearranged the world. So, the form sheet had been torn up into shreds. Even so I still fancy this peg even on tough days. Harry had hidden the chaos beneath an umbrella today, so he was looking fairly organised. Maybe he is trying to shed the nickname? I hope he is trying to organise himself for more efficiency, but I do think the name suits him though. I watched Harry casting today and he is improving a lot. Yes, there were a couple of casts that had the wildfowl and vermin on the far bank worried and reaching for tin hats but, on the whole it’s getting better. Harry is starting to search for the fish rather than thrashing one spot for the day and it paid off for him because he kept dad Paul gainfully employed with the landing net handle throughout the day. The Carp were small though and the occasional Skimmer didn’t make up for the lack of size that Harry needed to get in amongst the results on the other lake. He wasn’t far off though, weighing a decent on the day 19lbs 6ozs for fourth place. Good job Harry…

Peg Five: Jack Cryer: T’other Jack had drawn in the adjacent peg to his brother. Something that Paul was particularly happy about! Or so he thought… Every time I looked up or walked past, Paul was netting something out of the water for one or the other. Jack’s heart must have dropped went he realised that he was on the same peg that he had struggled from the last time we fished at Revels. It was at Jack’s peg that it became apparent just how clear the water was. Lack of any real depth that would have scored so highly in the warmer, dryer weather, dissolved in the rain during the week. Try as he might, things just were not going to happen for Jack today and he was struggling again. He did snare three Carp and some silverfish for a final tally of 8lbs 3ozs. I promised Jack I wouldn’t put that swim in again, just in case…

Trendals Lake: Peg Six: Oliver Smith: There is now way of saying this other than Ollie had drawn a renowned flier of a peg. I have seen this peg throw out weights of close to and over 100lbs I the past. But would it support Ollie today? The corner peg on Trendals is narrow but has a lot of water to go at compared to other pegs on the lake. The clarity of the water should not have been as big a problem as those on DTL were finding it. Even so, it would need to be considered. When I did pop up to take some photos, Carp could be seen swimming around seductively in front of the Aquaboy, which must have given him hope. Ollie was last seen fishing an empty feeder ‘up the arm’ of the lake to get the odd Carp throughout the match. In the end he should be pleased with third place on the day as his form maintains its upward trend. A good weight of 21lbs 10ozs including a decent Tench and a Chub was only a couple of fish away from second place. The climb to be champion is getting steeper for Ollie with only two points matches left. But I wouldn’t put it past him to make a final lunge at the title before the end. Good job, Ollie.

Peg Seven: Jack Copp: Jack’s year has been a bit like Ollies’ in the fact that a couple of low scoring matches has hindered his effort this year. One thing that I have watched develop in Jack is his match brain that switches direction from trying to win the match to trying to get the best from his peg and go for silvers. This is often a decision that is all too easy to make too late in the match which compromises your chances of either. As I have mentioned already, I didn’t see too much of the fishing on Trendals today and I don’t know if that was Jacks’ intention. But with the number of Goldfish species in his net at the weigh in, maybe that was what he intended to do (?) Whether it was or not, Jack had kept pace on numbers of fish, he just didn’t get the sizes that others were catching. If he had, I would put money on Jack getting closer to the top spot than he did. A finishing weight of 17lbs 11ozs may have been less than he deserved for his effort, but I will bet that he was kept busy and had more fun than some of the others! Well done, Jack…

Peg Eight: Josiah Wells-Parkes: I didn’t fancy Jo’s peg. I didn’t fancy it at all. It was narrow and weedy but at least it had depth (of sorts). I couldn’t believe how many fish he was catching when I made my photography visit to Trendals. The feeder hardly settled before another small and angry Carp put a bend in his feeder rod again. It shows what I know sometimes because all the coaches agreed that the obvious place to fish would have been close to the bed of weeds to the island. Not Jo though. Straight down the channel went the feeder, and round went the tip every time. Jo caught so many fish that he was insistent in choosing which net he wanted to be photographed with at the end. “Second one is bigger” said little mister boastful! I jest of course. Jo had had one of those days when everything just clicked and he quite simply buried the opposition. A day that you nearly double your closest opponents’ weight is a good day. Jo finished with a match winning weight of 45lbs 9ozs, 25 precious points and a £15 voucher for Revels tackle shop. He’s right back in the fight for the crown too, making the last two matches a mouth-watering prospect. Congratulations Jo, thoroughly deserved…

Peg Nine: Austin Scott-Kennedy: “Austin! Be quiet”, was Amys’ response to her sons’ comment of the fact that they nearly didn’t make it on time. When asked ‘Why?’, he replied by saying that they nearly got lost on the way… The writer of this blog is struggling to find the appropriate words to sum up this information. But what I will say is, and this comes from a place of respect and deep affection, ‘OH COME ON!’…. It's Revels… Everyone knows where Revels is, don’t they??? Clearly not. Once Amy had stopped laughing at the depth of my flabbergastaion (is that a word? Not according to Microsoft, but I don’t care), she blamed it all squarely on technology. Well, we know and love Amy's’ lack of directional prowess to know that, that horse was shot in the face a long time ago… Pure blog writers gold….

Austin had hit the ground running at the start of the match, landing a proper lump only minutes after the whistle had been blown. It’s the sort thing that settles the nerves during a match, something that I know Austin suffers from. Indeed, I had to grab the boy by the shoulders before he got to his peg and try to ground him before he exploded all over the carpark. The lumpy Mud Pig certainly paid off for ‘Mowgli’ and allowed him time to call to the local Red Kite population by way of a strange, screechy whistling sound. I could imagine clouds of these feathered beauties gathering at his feet before covering Jerry in ‘Kack’ and departing. He can also do a decent but quiet Pigeon call that had all the inhabitants of Trafalgar square going ‘Huh?’ when he did it… Second place with 25lbs 2ozs was enough to keep Austin on track for the championship title. But you would be a brave person that would nail your savings to that post with 50 championship points still to be won on two venues that we either haven’t been to or rarely fish on…

I was tired when I got home and the under lying emotion of the day better of me when I got home. But I had been carried through the day by my friends, even if they never knew their part until now.

With two to go and 50 points on the table, the championship now looks like this: Austin Scott-Kennedy – 171 pts. Josiah Wells-Parkes – 169 pts. Jack Copp – 163 pts. Oliver Smith – 137 pts.

The Silverfish Championship: Jack Copp – 17lbs 15ozs. Austin Scott-Kennedy – 14lbs 6ozs. Oliver Smith – 10lbs 9ozs. Others are eligible, but I couldn’t be bothered to write them all out. A big 20lb bag of silvers for any of those not mentioned could snatch it…

4th November – River Stour- The Bull Tavern – Sturminster: As I stated at the match, please do not feel intimidated by fishing on the river. It is the most beautiful way to fish and always feels much more natural than the venues that we usually visit. It might not be as easy, or the fish as big, but the rivers are the essence of fishing and should be learned as part of your fishing skills. The river at the Bull is not quite as deep as the Colber stretch If you need to borrow any equipment, let me know and I will see what I can do.

Big thank you to Jason Fricker at Revels for all of your support throughout this year.

Thank you to Jerry Bracey and Neil Haine for all of coaching support, and to Dave Copp for helping out today.

Take care and tight lines.

Juniors Sec…

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