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Get thee behind me, Mud-Pig! - 30/03/24 - Junior points match #2 - Luckfield Lake.

Before we settle down with our hot beverages to absorb the whimsical tales of The Mud-Slinger, it would be remiss of me not to remind everyone that this coming Saturday (6Th April) is the clubs AGM meeting and presentation evening at Weymouth Angling Clubhouse behind the Range in Weymouth (Obvs). It starts at 7:30pm and it would great if we could get a few juniors there even if you are not collecting silverware. Maybe not the most exciting evening that the juniors have ever had, but at least there will be some cheap ‘Happy Juice’ for the adults.

On with the show…

With Carp taking precedence over all other species in the last couple of years, we decided that this year would be the ‘Silverfish Renaissance’.

The first of these silverfish matches would be held at Luckfield Lake, and what a day it turned out to be.

After a week of rather biblical rain and hailstones, it was going to be touch and go whether the fish were going to show for our juniors. But show they did and in numbers too.

The main problem was going to be the mud. It was pretty bad. So bad in fact that early on I swear I saw a battalion of the 1st Welsh Fusiliers march through whistling ‘Hang out your washing on the Seigfried Line’ as they passed.

Trench foot was a significant risk today.

The bog tent went up with little fuss beneath the still vacant Owl box. It was the only bit of dry land around that part of the lake, even so, it still a bit ‘Mushy’. If anyone knows of any owls that are in need of a grandiose home within which to dwell, get in touch with the letting agency at

A good showing of nine juniors were going to virtually fill the lake today. They were,

Peg 1: Thomas ‘The Estimator’ Wilmer (non-competitor)

Peg 2: Josiah ‘His Lordship/Shawn the sheep’ Wells-Parkes

Peg 3: Josh ‘The New Jamie Hughes’ Roe

Peg 4: Jack ‘T’other Jack’ Cryer

Peg 5: Austin ‘Rambo’ Scott-Kennedy

Peg 6: Kenzie ‘I haven’t done anything daft enough for a nickname yet’ Toulson

Peg 7: Alec ‘Will you please stop shouting!’ Campbell

Peg 8: Harry ‘Nosebag/Is it lunchtime yet?’ Cryer

Peg 9: Vacant

Peg 10: Oliver ‘Aquaboy’ Smith

Your blizzard (the correct collective noun for 6 angling coaches) of coaches today are,

Barbie – Graham Howard

Ken – Jerry Bracey

Barbie - Chris Ward

Barbie – Tim Broughton

Barbie – Jon Bass

Weird Barbie – Neil Haine

Peg One:

Thomas Wilmer:

Being a non-competitor, Thomas and Ross arrived after the match had started but were fortunate enough to have been given peg one, and the shortest walk. Jerry Christmas had bought a rod and reel for Thomas who was very excited to christen it as quickly as possible. In fact, the whole lake was very soon aware that it was ‘a good rod’ and that it ‘was really light’. You can’t buy enthusiasm like this, and Thomas has it in spades!

My observation of young Thomas was that he is bristling with fishing excitement to the point of needing some kind of harness or even a muscle relaxant. He was up and down from his seat like it was red hot, he had me wincing when he left his rods on the ground inviting muddy feet to stomp on them. But Thomas is new, and we haven’t had chance to install the ‘Calm the heck down’ mantra in him yet.

I was on peg three with Josh when Thomas appeared stating that he’d ‘Caught the Twenty-seven pounder!’… My interest was piqued when I heard Jerry say that I had ‘better come and see this’. Thomas’s idea of a 27lb’der was vastly different to mine. But it was a good fish and tipped the scales at a solid 9lbs 2ozs. Easily the biggest fish of the day. With his 5lbs 2ozs of silverfish, he would have got some decent points had he have been included in the match.

He's a great lad, and fun to be around. In time he will learn to relax into the day. Then he will learn the true meaning of being an angler.

Peg Two:

Josiah Wells-Parkes:

It is rather fortunate that Captain Chris has made lots of bird boxes for Luckfield because I feel sure a Tit or even a Lesser Spotted Fantailed Meadow Warbler would have happily made its’ home in the awesome display of curls that adorned the lid of Jos’ head. (M’Lady thought it was adorable by the way). I’m glad we weren’t at Kingcombe because, now the sheep have lambed, shearing is not that far round the corner, and I would have hated Jo to get caught up in it.

It was Josiah's first outing this year due to Jim’s work commitments, and it was good to have them back.

Top kit and a long line was Jo’s preferred method of attack, and he made it work well too. Normally 11lb 8ozs would have been more than enough to win some spoils in a junior match. But our new drive to help them see Silvers as a viable option over Carp was paying off. Jo Tipped a fine bag of shimmering Roach onto the scales and, not for the first time today, I found myself wishing that I was fishing too!

It was a good return to the juniors for Jo and I look forward to seeing what he can do this season.

Peg Three:

Josh Roe:

Josh has been absent for a while due to personal reasons. But now he’s back and seems to have completely remodelled himself on multiple Fish’o’mania winner, Jamie Hughes.

He’s got a bit of growing to do, both upwards and outwards. But talent wise, he’s on a similar path. I watched Josh from afar quite a bit during the day and was very impressed. He’s got lots of new tackle including a pole that, like Jack Copp, seems to have caused an evolution in his fishing. Maybe the key to levelling up is a new pole?

On one of my many laps of the lake I arrived when Josh was playing a large fish on his pole. They hadn’t seen it yet and the thought was that it was probably a Carp which wouldn’t count. But, as the green flank of a fish rolled on the surface, at least tree people including me exclaimed that it was ‘A Tench!’

The Doctor fish definitely counted and would help Josh to a fine win on the day, a nice voucher for Alan’s Angling, and twenty-five sweet championship points.

It was a fine display of silverfish angling from Josh today, and it made me very happy. What made me even happier was the fact that Josh hasn’t lost any of his cheekiness, and I look forward to verbally crossing swords with him throughout the rest of the season!

From the lad who would not come out of his car because he’s come last at his first ever match, Josh is now a match winner and you can’t shut him up!

…and I don’t want to…

Congratulations Josh, Great job…

Peg Four:

Jack Cryer:

I spent some time with Jack before the start helping him to plumb up his swim and set up his rigs. Jack was in a peg that had anglers pointing towards him from both sides, narrowing his swim considerably. Put an angler on peg six opposite, and you have even less room. Jack was going to need to make the most from his close range and margin fishing today.

Fishing at short range and in the margins can produce some great sport at Luckfield. It is also where the Carp live. Carp do not count on a silvers only match and it was soul destroying to have to watch Jack return a Carp of close to 8lbs without weighing it.

What was good however was being able to help and observe him playing it. He’d lost a match winning fish last time we were at Luckfield, and he seems to have taken the advice onboard well. Redemption then for Jack over the Luckfield Carp, sadly that would not affect his final weight positively.

Jack had caught some stunning Roach though which encouraged the scales round to 8lbs 1oz and 13 points towards his season.

Peg Five:

Austin Scott-Kennedy:

The bait delivery truck arrived early with the pallet of groundbait and three dead cows-worth of maggots that would be enough for the first half of Austin’s match from peg five.

Now you may have noticed a smidgen of exaggeration in the above sentence, but I’m trying to prove a point. I explained it to him thusly…

Imagine a room of starving DDAS Juniors.

I have a bag of Smarties or M&M’s.

They need to eat something so if I dump the whole bag of Smarties on the floor, they can eat them without risk of being hooked on the Smartie that has been hair-rigged onto an appropriately sized catching device. They will eat all they want to with a reduced risk of ‘getting caught’.

However, if I was to only dribble a few Smarties into the cluster of hungry juniors, they will have to compete with each other to get a Smartie to eat. This will vastly increase the chances of something nasty happening.

Fish are very much like juniors. They are smelly, slimy, and forget everything they are told within three seconds…

AND, they need to eat most of the time.

Feed a little bit of food often and make them compete for the food. Your hook bait will get munched far quicker and without thought of risk.

The other thing is quantity.

In the winter fish have to feed, but they don’t want to.

In the summer the fish want to feed, but they don’t have to.

It's not about air temp either. It’s about water temp. Feed less when the water is cold, more when it’s warmer.

(No juniors or fish were harmed in this analogy)

Austin was scrounging for maggots with two hours to go having burned through his bait like a forest fire. Having said all this he did well weighing in 11lbs 11ozs, and indeed took the lead at that point. He didn’t have a bad day and I’m not saying he did. I just can’t help thinking it could have been better. In fishing, if you think you have nothing left to learn, you need to check your pulse because you may already be dead. We’ll work on Austin and get him back to his winning ways again…

My day was made considerably better by, not only the presence of the craziest mum on the lake, but also Dorset’s most glamourous grandparent, Alison. Never a dull moment when they are around, even better when they are together!

I’m going to pause there for a moment because we were visited by young Mia and her Uncle John. Mia will be joining from now on and, from what I have seen and heard so far, is the real deal. No pressure boys…

It was great to meet them both, and I look forward to fishing with them soon.

Peg Six:

Kenzie Toulson:

I had drawn Team Kenzie the diciest peg on the lake, but it can be worth the climb if you get it right. The clamber to the peg is tedious at best, and there’s not a lot of room when you get there. But what it does do, is it enables me to see Kenzie from various places on the lake. He lost a few fish on his flick tip pole, so I loaned him one of our new Margin Monsters for the day. From what I saw, Kenzie handled the pole extremely well.

Despite his pole handling skills, it was difficult to get in to coach him properly and his weight at the end may not have been as much as he might have hoped for. He tried hard though and finished with a weight of 5lbs 1ozs.

Kenzie did catch a Roach of 1lb and half an ounce, which qualifies for the specimen award for 2025 (24.2%).

Good skills young man….

Peg Seven:

Alec Campbell:

I’ve got to put my unhooking mat in there, I said as I looked at the soup that used to be peg seven… Alec showed no remorse from behind the aviator shades and, I believe I even saw him shrug his shoulders!

You couldn’t blame him and Ian though. The whole lake was like it, just their bit was worse!

Alec had fished a tidy match, catching fish at close range for most of the day. Like the others he’d had some belting Roach too.

At one point I caught a rumour on the breeze that Alec had ‘Had to put a Carp back’, which was a shame because I hadn’t seen them catch one.

As agreed, I dropped in periodically throughout the day to see how he was going and to make him smile. When asked what he’d caught, Alec said that it was ‘just Roach’ that dwelled within the net, but they’d had some good ones too.

I flopped the mat into the soup and gathered his keep net from the water. There were indeed some nice Roach in there. The nicest of these ‘Roach’ was the big green one with tiny green scales, large green fins, and a beady red eye…

‘You never told me you’d caught a Tench?’ I asked.

The teeth of innocent smiles were being displayed broadly upon both faces of the lad and his dad.

‘You LIED!’ I exclaimed, feeling the hollow emptiness of someone that had been duped.

They nodded through sniggers and smirks…

I held up the scales and looked at Alec. I drew in my breath through pursed lips as the scales showed 13lbs 8ozs, good enough for second place so far.

Alec had missed out on third by two ounces last time at Luckfield, and with two anglers to weigh, could he hang onto a podium this time?

Alec had a great day and I am so very pleased and proud that he did…Well done!

Peg Eight:

Harry Cryer:

The human windchime was eating again.

This reference is not made to highlight Harry’s ‘streamlined physique’, but from a point of astonished amazement that he not the size of a medium skip with amount of food that he shovels in. It is incredible, if not slightly nauseating.

Under the tutelage of Nice Bloke Tim, Harry used the forced breaks in eating to enable him to breathe to actually catch some fish, and some trees.

Fair play to him though, whenever I looked in his direction, he was usually swinging a fish. A bit like Austin, there was a lot of over-feeding going on, only Harry’s was way more personal. If only the concentration to eat was balanced with focus on fishing, we could have been looking at a big/bigger weight.

But the thing I like about Harry is that he does things ‘Harry’s way’. I’m certain that he wants to improve as an angler of course, but he will do it his way and in his own time. The results he gets are because he enjoys his fishing, not so much from a driving need to win, and I like that.

It was Harry that missed out by just two ounces this time, but he had done enough to keep third place on the day. Harry weighed 13lbs 6ozs.

Well done Harry…

Peg Ten:

Oliver Smith:

Now I said enough at the lake, so I am not going to rub it in again here.

All I will say is that the last time the recommended bait list was ignored, two of the juniors BLANKED! Ollie was one of them…

Ollie had caught some fish, but it had happened again. Bait items were missing and so were the fish.

Would he have caught more with everything?

I’ll be honest and say probably. We won’t know for sure, but he would have had a better chance.

I don’t think the Ollie from last time had turned up this time, and he seemed a bit…off.

One thing you will get from Ollie is that he tries. Maybe it’s the level of effort that was absent.

At the end, I tried to offer him some words of advice, consolation, and encouragement. Jerry offered balance by simply holding finger and thumb in the shape of an ‘L’ against his own forehead and shouting ‘Loser!’… Balance is everything.

With Jack Copp away, this was an opportunity to grab a few points. He did get eleven points at the end with 4lbs 12ozs which is helpful, if not optimum.

Time to sweep this one under the carpet and on to the next…

Your top three today were,

Josh Roe, 25 points

Alec Campbell, 20 points

Harry Cryer, 17 points

Championship standings after two matches: Oliver Smith 36 pts

Alec Campbell 35 pts

Jack Cryer 33 pts

The full points table can be found on the website.

The stamp of Roach at Luckfield is stunning and the silvers match had done its job. It isn’t always all about Carp and today showed that feeding and presentation are key to catching a good weight of silverfish.

Thank you to Jerry, Jon, Tim, Chris, and Neil for their exceptional support in the mud today.

Announcements for those reading this rubbish who were not present at Luckfield:

FIVE championship points will be offered to juniors who purchase and wear an item of our new DDAS Juniors clothing range. It’s good stuff and a shame I had to bribe you all to buy any!!! (One off offer, not per item of clothing).

The coaching day at Todber on Homeground will now be a chance to practice for two or three hours BEFORE the start of a match at 12 noon.

Draw 9am

Coaching until 12 noon

Match from 12 noon until 4pm.

Don’t forget about the AGM, Weymouth Angling Clubhouse, 7:30 pm, Saturday 6th April.

Take care,

Juniors Sec…


Jack Copp was away representing the DDAS Juniors at a practice match at Homeground Lake at Todber Manor today. Jack has booked himself in to a Fish’o’mania like competition, the first round of which is at Todber Manor, with the final being at Moorlands Farm.

The match was fished between eleven participants, most of whom were in the nineteen- to twenty-one-year-old age group. Our eleven-year-old Jack managed 187lbs, enough to finish an enormously creditable third place on the day, winning a guru whip/pole and some fishing tokens to spend in the shops.

Massive well done to our junior champion, we are all very proud of you…

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