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25/05/24 - Junior Points Match #5 - Homeground Lake, Todber Manor.

Before I begin, we need to get some more juniors to attend the Special Coaching Day with Callum Dicks at Revels on 1st June. We currently only have 8 and I would like to make it at least 10 to make it worthwhile for Callum to travel all the way from Bristol and for Revels to close a lake for us. This is a chance to spend the day with a world class professional angler. Days like this do not come along without spending hundreds of pounds, and you will be getting it for just a fiver!!! Don’t miss out!

Finally. Summer is with us in earnest and just in time for our first ‘Two Methods Match’. Designed to encourage our juniors to expand on their skills, the two methods match would force them to use techniques that they would not normally favour. A Sgt Bracey idea that, when it was formed in the eviller part of his mind, I will bet that he had no idea of the staggering amount of moaning that it would cause.

Of course, the Sarge was savvy enough to make sure that he was watching big men in tight shorts at Twickenham on the day of the ‘great moaning’.

The match would be split into two halves. The first where the little darlings would have to fish on either the feeder or the bomb, and they could only cast into areas no closer than halfway across the lake.

This caused several problems. Some people were not sure where halfway was, with others thinking that ‘halfway’ meant a fluid, movable line that could be manipulated to encompass areas of the lake that looked more likely to contain fish. Naturally both of these opinions were quickly crushed like an uprising of rabbits (bunnies if you’re on Portland) in a society of rabid foxes.

The second phase of the match would be an all-out attack as long as they were using a float.

I did have cause to pull up our juniors at the end for some fish handling issues that I took exception to in the extreme. We have a responsibility as anglers to take care of the fish that we catch. They are living creatures and deserve to be treated respectfully. At the end of the match my concerns were forcefully voiced to all present and that further mistreatment of fish would not be tolerated. I am confident that we will have no such reoccurrence in the future.

Your anglers for today are as follows:

Kit Freeman ‘The Human Torpedo’

Harry Cryer ‘The Human Windchime’

Jack Cryer ‘The Dark Horse’

Mia Evans ‘The Destroyer of Polo Shirts’

Austin Scott-Kennedy ‘Rambo’

Josh Roe ‘Jamie Hughes Jnr’

Jack Copp ‘Twiglet’

Ollie Smith ‘El Capitano’

Harry Wilmer ‘The Quiz Master’

Kenzie Toulson ‘The Chatterbox’

Alec Campbell ‘The Noisy One’

Your ’Bin Bag’ of coaches (The correct collective noun for 5 or more angling coaches) today are:

Pikachu – Graham Howard

Squirtle – Tim Broughton

Bulbasaur – Jon Bass

Charmander – Si Wagner

Jigglypuff – Chris Ward

Peg One:

Jack Cryer:

Jack certainly had me fooled.

I was sure that he was not doing as well as some of the others, but instead he was quietly emptying the lake of anything that swims. Jack has been working on his pole techniques of late and it seemed to pay off for him today. He has proved himself on the feeder before, particularly here at Todber Manor, and now he’s getting his head round the pole. Finishing with a very respectable 160lbs 2ozs for third place on the day. Good job young Jack….

Peg Two:

Austin Scott-Kennedy:

It was a day of what could have been for Austin. The ability to count his fish as they went in the keep net escaped him as he smashed the 66lb limit in one of his nets to limit his weight to a mere 189lbs 10ozs. I believe he may have broken the 200lb barrier for the first time had he been able to weigh all of his catch, but we’ll never know.

If there had been a weigh in at the end of the feeder phase of the match, I think Austin would have been in front buy a good margin. I witnessed his casting skills which have improved no end in the last year or so, and his pole skills are just as good.

He may need to brush up on his counting so as not to be a victim of the kick back again. But he wasn’t the only one…

Peg Three: Alec Campbell:

If there was an award for moaning about aching arms, The Noisy One would have been a clear winner. There were copious amounts of complaining coming from beneath the hood of his new DDAS Juniors top. But, despite the whinging, Alec was doing a great job both on the feeder and with the pole. His casting is improving with a rod and reel, and it won’t be long before he is taking the wings off a speeding Blue Tit at 50 metres…

I am pleased with Alec’s progress, and I believe that we have only seen the start of his journey. Alec weighed in 120lbs 3ozs.

Excellent work!

Peg Four:

Kit Freeman:

A returning Kit demonstrated some good skills on the pole despite not fishing as often as he may like to. He had lost nothing of his skills learned from the previous year on the feeder, which was good because casting is one of the first things to suffer after a break from fishing. But the lad did good in the first phase of the match and wasn’t too shabby in the second. In fact, I would go as far to as to say that he kind of surprised me at the end with a weight of 136lbs 5ozs which earned him 5th place on the day.

It was good to see Kit and his family again, and I hope we see more of him when his ‘paddling’ season has finished.

Peg Five:

Jack Copp:

Jack would have finished in joint second place in the moaning competition behind Alec today, but for slightly different reasons. Alec was not a huge fan of lactic acid and Jack wasn’t a huge fan of being forced to fish a method he knew was wrong. I also knew it was wrong but took a strange delight in making the Shrimps do it.

As was to be expected, Jack was dragging Carp after Carp in during Phase one and wasn’t far behind Austin in numbers. But come 12:30pm and it was like someone had fast forwarded footage of Jack fishing. The Carp seemed to have already surrendered to the fact that they were going to be caught and were queuing up to receive their fate.

It was phenomenal to watch and I’m not sure that I would have kept up with him in my decrepit state that seems to be the norm these days.

Jack won the match, broke the junior match record, poured petrol on it and then set it alight with a new benchmark of 260lbs 13ozs.

It's Jack’s big match next week and, if he fishes like that, I fear for the others.

Peg Six:

Mia Evans:

‘Hey! That’s unkind!’ exclaimed a shocked Mia as I wiped ground bait from my hands with the sleeve of her T-Shirt. This was pay back for the fish slime she coated me with at Harbourbridge. Normally I would have playfully threatened to send her into the lake but, quite frankly, she scares me a bit!

Mia is at the start of her fishing journey and still has much to learn. To be fair, she has already come a long way since she started fishing with us. Casting is one of the areas that we need to concentrate on for her. Not that she can’t cast but, she would probably agree that she can do it much better with more practice, and that’s what we will do.

Permanent pegs 90 and 91 on Homeground are very close together and she had the misfortune to be sat next to a very on form Copplet.

He stole her fish, and she stole our hearts when she landed a belting Carp of 8.5lbs and screamed across the lake for me to attend her location immediately! 55lbs 1oz is a good day’s fishing and she was happy with work today. Well done…

Peg Seven:

Josh Roe:

P7 was sickly corner. Martin was suffering with the high pollen count and was gently wilting throughout the day, and Josh was still recovering from a broken arm sustained from trying to stop a cannonball shot in a football match. I said fishing was a much safer pursuit!

Asthma is no joke. You don’t need to tell me that. I was concerned at the crumbling form of Martin as the day went on. I think he may have found some adrenaline as he must have got annoyed at the number of times I asked him if he was ok!

Josh looked pained too at times. Either that or it was his facial default setting when he’s fishing! The far bank was the place to be a few weeks ago. But today it was producing some slightly ‘lower’ weights than the shop bank. Josh’s 76lbs 11ozs was the start of a line of weights that wouldn’t worry the podium, but 76lbs is still a fun day of fishing once you make peace with the fact that you may not win.

Considering everything, I observed some good angling from the ‘Mini-Hughes’ and he fished well despite being winged.

Well done Hughesy!

Peg Eight:

Harry Wilmer:

I search for ‘New Harry’s’ off switch but, without conducting an airport style search (which apparently is frowned upon), I couldn’t find it. Harry was another ‘feeder moaner’ who begrudged fishing in phase one and wanted an early switch to phase two. I suggested to him that, if the feeder wasn’t his bag, that he could sit out phase one and rejoin in phase two. Carrying on with feeder seemed to be the better option and so it was.

I love questions. But from now on I will be writing or signing my name in special ‘grey Ink’ because harry has worn my name out in just 5 short (long) hours! I was asked everything from the time, to ‘Can I buy one of your keep nets?’

I said that he could, and he could buy it for £55…

He said that he thought that was a little expensive for a second-hand net. To which I replied that if he bought mine, I would need to buy another one, and I couldn’t afford one so….

I must say that, despite the barrage of questions and incessant chatter, New Harry fished a really good match weighing in a very respectable 93lbs 15ozs. A new PB and so close to the magic ton. Great job Chatterbox!

Peg Nine:

Kenzie Toulson:

Kenzie Toulson is officially sponsored by Haribo (other sugar-based products are available).

The lad was, quite literally, on fire today. I saw a flock of birds take off from the trees because they couldn’t hear themselves singing over the top of Kenzie’s constant chatter. To be fair it wasn’t all day. It was just when we needed everyone to be quiet that Kenzie turned his volume up to eleven.

Fishing wise Kenzie impressed with his use of a Pellet Waggler. But sadly, it wasn’t enough to compete with the other juniors on their poles. Junior events are not always about winning, however. Practicing a particular method can be just as impressive as catching a large fish or filling multiple nets.

Kenzie had a steady day finishing with 73lbs 5ozs.

Well done Kenz…

Peg Ten:

Harry Cryer:

Harry cut a sorry figure towards the end of the match. Motionless and unbothered by Carp, hood up, shoulders down, he looked like he had given up. I looked at his set up and it left a lot to be desired.

A long hook link, shots up high, fishing too deep, and a very long lash was not going to be remotely competitive here.

I orchestrated his feeding pattern and fettled his rig to be more like that which I would be happy with.

With correct feeding and the right rig, he was straight into fish immediately. They were there all along. He could and should have caught more. For this I apologise.

As a team, we need to do better in situations like this, so they don’t happen again. It’s no one’s fault because we cannot be everywhere at all times. But frequent rig checks will make it less common.

Despite this little whoopsie, Harry weighed a decent 81lbs 10ozs. Good job mate…

Peg Eleven:

Ollie Smith:

I couldn’t bear the thought of Anna falling in without me having my phone ready to record it for all time, so I stepped in. I could see his hook bait and strained every sinew to get it unhooked. I did and stood in the afterglow of appreciation from Anna, and marginal indifference from Ollie (I jest because he did say thank you).

Ollie was end peg Charlie today and there were fish everywhere on his pole lines. Some MONSTER was making him fish the feeder for over two hours, and did I know about it!

Whinge, whinge, whinge, whinge, whinge…

Less whinging may have helped El Capitano count the number of mud pigs he was plopping in his net because he went over in one net and suffered a 50lb penalty limit of doing so. Rules is rules…

It's a good match that sees 154lbs 8ozs come 4th, but there would have been more but for the slip up…

Well done Ollie…

Big thanks for a cracking job by our coaches today, particularly at the weigh in with some great teamwork. Thanks guys!

Thank you to John Candy and the team at Todber Manor for some spectacular fishing!

Congratulations to our winners:

1st 260lbs 13ozs Jack Copp.

2nd 189lbs 10ozs Austin Scott-Kennedy.

3rd 160lbs 2ozs Jack Cryer.

Championship table after 5 events:

99pts Austin Scott-Kennedy

97pts Jack Copp

90pts Ollie Smith

84pts Jack Cryer

79pts Alec Campbell

A full list of points will be available soon on the website.

Our next event will be on 31st May for the 2nd round of the Knockout series at Revels.

Callum Dicks Coaching Day on the 1st June at Revels.

Take care,

Juniors Sec…

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