I arrived at the lake at just after 8am to set up the equipment and to suss out the lake. I was greeted early by lake owner, Rory Greening, and we walked around the pegs he had reserved for us. Rory had very generously given us virtually half the lake, so our Juniors had already been well looked after.
I would like to take a moment to, on behalf of DDAS Juniors and the club as a whole, offer Rory and the Greening family our deepest condolences after Rory confirmed the sad passing of his mother, Jane. I only met Jane twice and it was obvious that she wasn't not in the greatest of health at the time. She has, sadly, since succumbed to her illness.
She was very kind to me and I want dedicate our successful days fishing to her memory. It was through her that our Juniors were able to fish at the lake today... Thank you and rest in peace Jane.
On to the day. Tom Foyle was the first to arrive and, with the equipment set up, we set about sorting our own gear for the demonstrations that we had planned for the day. The coaches started to turn up and I knew the Juniors would not be far behind.
When we had all arrived, some later than others (mentioning no names Carlos), I did my usual waffle about H&S and offered the Juniors my demonstration on fishing with a pellet waggler. Clearly there was nothing they could learn from a seasoned angler and qualified coach like myself, because they ALL cleared off to their pegs. I flicked a few pellets out and it's funny how suddenly interested they got when, a few seconds later, the rod was bending into an angry Carp before some of them had even reached their pegs... Maybe coach did know what he was talking about after all?
After I had repaired my hurt feelings, the day got into it's stride nicely and eyes were bulging at the size of some the fish, some of whom were scraping close to double figures. Some fabulous mickey taking started when one of Jakes fish didn't quite make the estimated weight of Jakes coach Terry Green. I love having a laugh, but Jakes Dad, Glenn, doesn't need encouragement to enter into a banter match and they were both warned that they would not be paired together in future. Good giggles all round...
With the breeze picking up a little, the fish seemed to be blown to the deeper end of the lake. For the second time, Max was facing a bit of a struggle being at the wrong end. But I think he enjoyed himself.
Ollie was back with Jack and even both mums managed to get some fishing in when rods were vacated later in the day. With Donna Copp banking a few fish of her own to her credit.
Sofia, again drew the short straw and had me as a coach for the day. The trouble with being the organiser and lead coach is that everyone wants a piece of you all at the same time. So often I was helping out with pictures, tangles and other questions and not able, I felt, to give Sofia a fair amount of attention. But she was very gracious and busied herself by taking more pictures than a traffic camera on the M3. Thank you for doing that Sofia...Of course, Glenn should have been taking pictures for me, but he was too busy concocting dirty lies with his new friend...
Jack put together some decent fish and showed that he can fish well on his own, using a pellet waggler and feeder to catch steadily all day.
Faith has found a new friend in her coach, Chris Ward. A little girl that, until recently, was very smiley, but quite. Was now chatting to Chris like they had known each other for years. Angling and the DDAS Juniors is really having a profound effect on little Faith and it warms my heart to see it happen. Faith excitedly had to show me every little fish she caught, even the spikeys (Perch) which she would not even touch previously!
Faiths mum, Lydia, was again back for some tips on her casting, this time with a Pellet float. Her luck ran out when the hook pulled from a decent fish. Her casting is coming on a treat however.
Later arrivals, Carter and Thomas, also found some form at Mangerton. Carter in particular was lining the Carp up nicely under the guidance of Jon Bass. I thought there was more than one Thomas at the lake because he seemed to be everywhere. Tom had some nice words to say about Thomas during his demonstration on surface baits.
Joseph set about making himself a force to be reckoned with with a pellet waggler. Bagging fish after fish, some almost as long as he is tall...
Tom's Demo on surface baits was a big hit with a few of the Juniors.
Mind you, Tom asked if he could have a go with my pellet waggler set up and, low and behold, attracted a few Juniors. Unlike MY demo, which was ignored completely. Maybe Tom should do more demos, Tom is a big hit. Tom is great... Let's all be more like Tom....Tom, Tom, TOM! #notjealous
I knew Mangerton was going to be a great venue for us and so it proved to be. Talk of wanting to have a match there, turned into excited anticipation when I told them that there was indeed a match to be held there in September... It only remains for me to thank Rory Greening at Mangerton for his generous loan of his lake to us for what turned out to be a very special day for our Juniors. Thank you Rory, we had a wonderful time at Mangerton.
As usual, huge thanks extend to our excellent helpers and coaches, Terry Green, Jerry Bracey, Chris Ward, Tom Foyle and Jon Bass. Without them nothing would happen.
Our Juniors parents play a vital roll by joining in with their children's interest in fishing. You are the key ingredient to any success we have.
Even though no other guests turned up to fish the lake today, our Junior were exceptionally well behaved, as usual. Thank you guys for being the stars of the day.
Mangerton needs to become a regular fixture for us because of the stunning surroundings and outstanding fishing opportunity it offers. If you want a great days fishing, then will do no better than making your way to Bridport and spending a day there. For more information about Mangerton please go to www.mangertonlake.co.uk or go to Mangerton Lake on Facebook. You will not be disappointed...
There is a first time for everything. I have never had to end a blog with a moan, but today that ends I'm afraid... Our Portaloo tent was bought so that our female guests and participants are able to attend without fear of embarrassing situations or personal discomfort. There is a notice on the lid of the loo itself asking users to leave it as they wish to find it. Unfortunately today this was most definitely not the case. It doesn't matter who it was, and I understand that if Juniors have to go, then they have to go. But it is the responsibility of the parents of any Juniors that do need to use the facility, male or female, to make sure that the loo is cleaned and left in a acceptable condition. This was not how it was left today and my helpers found it in an appalling state. However much of a good idea it is, if it is left in this state again, it will not return to any of our events. From this point on, if any juniors need to use the loo, they will need to be accompanied by their appropriate adult to ensure that the loo is left in an acceptable condition.