Sharnhill was looking beautiful for our Juniors today, sun-kissed, if a little breezy. When I arrived at 9.30am the fish were moving better than a couple of days previously. So I was more confident that we might be able to catch a few fish.
Even though Sharnhill is a very small lake, I was conscious of a Goose sitting on her nest on the island, so pegs were not put in that would disturb her. Daddy Goose was able to patrol round protectively without being too alarmed by the presence of small anglers.
The day started with a little moan about running and social distancing, a little warning that was adhered to during the day from where I stood at least. Thank you for being so co-operative everyone.
With Noah and Jerry one peg 1, Joseph and Jon on peg 2, Jack and Dave (eventually) on peg 3, Jake and Tome on 4, Sophia and Si on 5, Ollie on 6 and Max on the end at 7, The fish gave a spirited start to the day with nearly everyone catching straight away.
The story of the day day is a simple one, as the fishing steadily slowed to a stand still by the halfway point, as the sun rose high, the wind dropped and the temperature rose to a very warm 18 degrees.
Younger attentions started to wane, whilst the more experienced anglers stuck at it, despite the lack of action.
Max took the first proper fish by changing his tackle to be more sensitive and hooked into and landed a better fish of about 3lbs, quite big for the day as it turned out.
Jack stuck at winkling out the smaller fish for a surprising weight at the end that even surprised his dad, Dave. Small Carp and Crucians weighed quite heavy and Jack did well to maintain focus, where others, understandably, started to lose interest. Demonstrated below by Si Wagner, wondering where his superstar has disappeared to?
I took a general consensus around the lake and where the younger less experienced Juniors were struggling, the other more experienced anglers had their heads down and were working hard to catch something.
It was decided that the next event would be held slightly earlier and would have a lunch break halfway to break the day up more. DDAS Junior events are not written in stone, and will be flexible enough to cater for all until we find a happy balance for the majority of participants.
As we approached the end with a slightly earlier finish than planned, the fish started to feed a bit better. Half the lake wanted to stop, the other wanted to carry on! The job of the lead coach is never simple, but we finished at 4pm as agreed...
Noah (right) was first up with his first ever match and a respectable 1lb 13ozs.
Joseph was next with a hard earned 1lb dead.
Jack had a surprising 5lb 4ozs.
(Apologies to both Joseph and Jack, I took video instead of photos...I'm old with new phone....Give me break!)
Young Jake (left) put 1lb 6ozs on to the scales in what was his first experience of match fishing.
It has to be said the little Sophia struggled, with the heat and the lack of action. 3 small Carp gave her just 7ozs. But I am confident that she will show her true skill in future events.
Ollie (left) who had made a late charge with a few 'proper' Carp on the feeder, finished with an impressive 9lb 1oz.
Max (right) on the end weighed 7lb 3ozs.
Both Ollie and Max were at the windward end of the lake, so it is no surprise that they found some better fish. A good lesson in watercraft demonstrated by the results.
Our Juniors did well considering that, for a few, this was their first ever competition. In the coming events, we will see if the changes we make will improve the sessions for everyone. Time will tell....
As usual it only remains for me to personally thank our dedicated team of coaches for making the day possible. To the parents for caring enough to bring their anglers out and to our Juniors who are always a pleasure to be around...
1st, O. Smith 9lb 1oz ...25 points
2nd, M. Faulkner 7lb 3ozs ...20 pts
3rd, J. Copp 5lb 4ozs ...17 pts
Other points are, N. Holding...15 pts, J. Taylor...14 pts, J. Altuzarra...13 pts, S, Altuzarra...12 pts
No Silverfish were caught so the Silvers Championship is yet to open....
There was another major step forward in our coaching program today as three of our Juniors managed to complete level 1, Sophia Altuzarra, Oliver Smith and Max Faulkner, all received a 'Roach' pin badge and a certificate of achievement and will move on to 'Perch' level 2 at the next coaching session on the 8th May at Harbourbridge Lakes in Chickerell.
Well done everyone.
See you at the next one...
DDAS Junior Secretary