Junior Match #10 - Martin Vine Memorial Match - Top Lake - Whitemoor - 06/11/21


I am going to start this weeks blog with a rewind to Thursday afternoon. Most of you will know by now, or are becoming familiar with, the fact that these blogs inform of match reports, make up untruths and lies, and also hopefully find some funny moments here and there.

One such moment happened Thursday afternoon. With Winter fast approaching and the warm, dry weather firmly behind us, Fishing tackle gets a tad mucky from time to time. None more so than clothing. I have recently purchased a nice sparkly new suit from Preston Innovations and, although I despise tackle tarts(!!!), it does match the rest of the Preston catalogue that I own.

It's new, and therefore gets maximum looking after until the novelty wears off. The leggings (romper) in particular needed loving attention and, in my position as lead coach, I need to set an example.

How to clean it effectively? Because of Trudie's condition, we have a wet room fitted to 'Chateaux Howard'. This was going to be pivotal, as you are about to find out. I hung the mucky romper suit, on a hanger, from the heating pipe that runs through the wet room. Then trotted off to get some shorts on. I also removed my socks and, was ready. The water was pleasantly warm as I began to hose down the romper, and a satisfying river of dirty water was making it's way to the drain. Armed with a sponge, I started to gently caress the new romper material, carefully removing the mud and nasties. I decided it would be better with two hands, and this is where the trouble started... I couldn't hang the shower head from it's normal location because I would end up getting soaked. So, I laid it on the little soap shelf dish thing and let go. The shower hose must have had a twist in it because it immediately turned and showered me in the groin area.

1 v 0 to the shower...

I grabbed it a mumbled "Oh, how dreadfully unfortunate", and replaced it back to a safer trajectory. It turned again, this time soaked my feet and legs.

I was wearing shorts though. Clever, right? The shower comes up through a hole in the soap dish shelf thing, and so I jammed it in there and continued scrubbing. The shower suddenly decided that I was not wet enough yet and turned to soak my entire left side from the armpit down.

2 v 0 to the shower... "How very dare you?" I said. I told the shower that it was a very naughty shower, and that it really shouldn't do that again. The shower, however, had one further trick up it's sleeve. The wet room has a folding seat fixed to the wall. A great place for the shower head, right? Wrong... Further scrubbing continued until the shower played it's ace card. Breaking free from it's position on the folded chair, the shower had a snipers aim and proceeded to blast me straight in the face. As a glasses wearer, I was now blind. I staggered back from the liquid attack, which then released the stream of water, which I have called the fountain of joy, out across the room at a forty five degree angle, without my (vast) body to block it.

Bravely, I rushed back in to turn the ruddy shower off and, by now, the air was a nasty shade of blue and the room was awash. Not even the mirror, which is BEHIND the shower screen had got away with it. The only way I could have ended up more soaked, would have been to wander through an operating car wash, or attend a firefighters training day, wearing the suit. I shrugged, stripped off and joined the romper in the shower. Two birds, one stone.... Game, set and match, the shower... I will pick my battles more carefully in future. Maybe a Bengal Tiger, or an angry penguin. The romper suit is clean though....


There was a leafy chill to the morning of the match, but the sun was out and all was good with the world. My mind was always going to be with Martin today, and all the laughs we had. We always picked at each other a bit like a bickering couple, mercilessly at times. But he saved my life in many ways and I, in turn, saved his. He was gone so quickly, and it goes to show that we need to spend all the time we can with friends and loved ones. Life is a flame on a candle and, if we're lucky, we get to burn all the way to the end.


Pegs down and flags up. then down, then up again and, finally down. There was a bit of a breeze around that was playing havoc with my promotional fappy things. We had a special guest coach for the beginning of the day in the shape of Nick White. Nick agreed to pop down and spoon some of his top drawer experience into the ears of our two remaining championship contenders. 'The King of Whitemoor' also, very generously, bought some donations and gifts for our Juniors. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Nick for taking the time to talk to our budding new anglers.


There are many different way to prepare for a fishing match. Pictured above are just a few examples of this being displayed regularly at our Junior events. Firstly, Carlos can be regularly seen plugging in his earphones to listen to one of two podcasts. Either the latest edition of the Mr Crabtree goes fishing or the How to remove leaves from a tree with a swimfeeder. He may have just put the earphones with nothing on them in an effort to avoid being told, all day, what to do by Sofia. The next image is an impressive long range picture of Mr Chris Holding performing the perfect Maori Haka, to entice fish into Noah's swim. All the time singing familiar songs in the club singer style of Vic Reeves. I can only image that Noah is asking the lovely Alex if he can come home with her tonight out of sheer embarrassment...

Even your lead coach can be seen praying to a higher power for more knowledge, more patience or more something... Jerry had adopted a more threatening pose. Arms folded and knees slightly bent. This stance is more commonly known as the 'Bristol face off'. On the day, Jerrys BFO was not as effective as some of the other rituals, but at least Joseph felt intimidated enough to stay on his box for most of the match. Glenn took a different approach in which he used a strategy banned on many fisheries. Fear by bare legs is a much frowned upon method of fish charming, mainly due to the need for legs like a sparrow. Fortunately, Glenn has the perfect pins for such a method. It makes me shudder to think about them at all.... Finally Black Country Becky was seen and heard telling some thoroughly filthy jokes to the fish. This did work very well indeed. But I did hear later on that some of the fish needed therapy from the offensive nature of some of Becky's material.


My good friend and constant source of entertainment had come along to take another lad close to a medal winning position. Tom Foyle, aka 'The Red Fox', had turned up in what I can only describe as a terminally delicate state. Old Red had had one too many sherberts the night before, and was suffering as a result. The lovely Alex was Tom's chauffeur for the day and couldn't get the fox out of the car fast enough. Tom's 'emissions' were at a high level of toxicity, forcing Alex to drive most of the way with her head protruding from the window. It was almost painful to look at the lad, but it was self inflicted and we therefore must show not compassion. To get a rough idea of just how bad he looked, just think of someone with a lemon slice in their mouth, bending a finger nail back, whilst listening to anything by Coldplay....


On to the draw which went as follows: P1 Thomas 'Lightning' Millard (Non competitor) P2 Lord of the manor, Josiah Wells-Parkes P3 Lewis 'Don't call me Griffin' Softley P4 Carter 'Look there's an insect' Lynock P5 Faith 'Faye-faye-fee-fee-foo' Stone

P6 Ollie 'Aquaboy' Smith P7 Noah 'Chimp Chucker' Holding

P8 Joseph 'The Meat' Altuzarra

P9 Sofia 'Little Princess' Altuzarra (Non- competitor)

P10 Jack 'Twiglet' Copp

P11 Jake 'Mud Monster' Taylor


Peg One...

Thomas was more active than normal today and had certainly fully engaged 'Maximum Cheek Mode'. In fact his fishing reel couldn't keep up with him and exploded under extreme demand. Not strictly true actually, but it's funnier than saying that some line had got jammed behind the spool and bale arm, resulting in a reel now dismantled and not reassembled on the bank. Chris and I tried, but I burst into tears and Chris was found rock back and forth under a tree... I have promised myself that, one day I will record the number of questions Thomas asks me in just 4 hours....


Peg Two...

His Lordship, Master Wells-Parkes had a difficult day today. Even with the expert help of Mr Bass. I can only describe Jo's peg as a hive of inactivity for most of the day. I can't even make stuff up about peg two, because nothing really happened... So here is a picture of a family of Tumbleweeds crossing the road...


Peg three...

Much more action from Lewis on peg three and today he impressed his coach greatly. I chose Lewis to coach myself because, being a little older, he can be left with instructions whilst I walk round make sure that everyone is happy. Lewis picks up new skills extremely fast and does exactly as he is asked to. Considering he is a novice with a pole, he was stripping elastic like a pro by the end. Lewis finished a brilliant 3rd place on the day with 9lbs 7ozs, for his first medal with DDAS Juniors. My favourite sentence of the day came from Lewis when he said, and I quote, "I am so glad I joined the Juniors, it's brilliant"... I look forward to watching Lewis closely, even if he did destroy a raft of Family Guy wise cracks by telling me his name was Softley, not Griffin. I'll think of something.... Lewis weighed a respectable 9lbs 7ozs....Well done!


Peg 4...

Carter was in the charge of one the finest people living in Broadmayne called Tom Foyle that I know. The Red Fox, as he is fast becoming known, has a habit of coaching Juniors that are lucky enough to have him as a coach, to some impressive medal wins. Carter who had told his mum that he didn't think he would ever win a medal, had his best shot today. Sadly, the fishing Gods were not shining on him as brightly as they might, because he missed out by a measly four ounces. One fish. One more fish...

We've all been there, but if 'if's' and 'but's' were pots and pans, we'd all be scrap metal merchants.... Close, but no cigar. I told Carter how proud I was of him and that his time would come. Today was a new benchmark for him and he showed much better application to his fishing than ever before. Well done to the Red Fox for reaching out to Carter, to help to better meet the challenges of the day. I don't know if this is true but, the rumour has it that Tom was loading Carter up with liquids to force him to need a comfort break fairly often. So as not to let Carter's seat cushion get too cold, Tom would keep it warm for him. Apparently, Carter's fishing rods got cold too. Many times Tom could seen holding on them so they wouldn't cool off too much. No fish were illegally netted and personally witnessed Tom hanging on to a fish, waiting for Carter to return from his 408th wee of the day. DDAS Juniors Confessional: I do have to admit to dropping a slimy clanger today. Once Carter had had his picture taken (Which he was more than happy to partake in today), he held up some slime covered hands for mum (Black Country Becky) to wipe for him. Without thinking (not a first for me) I flippantly suggested that he should 'Wipe 'em on yer mums coat'...

Which he immediately did... Becky did put up some resistance, but it would appear I had released a beast, and there was not stopping him... I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to stay out of striking range of Becky's, thankfully short reach... Sorry...


Peg 5...

I counted at least 483 photographs of Faith on my phone, not surprising considering her mum, Lydia, has become our official photographer. Most of the pics are from later in the match when she complained, at great length, about being cold. So much so that, some of the pictures were taken from beneath a pile of blankets roughly 5 feet deep.

To be fair they were at the windward end of a cold breeze. Faith, armed with her 'new' pole, fished a steady match. With the pegs being so close together, fun times were had by those positioned there. It is definitely where I received the most verbal abuse and banter attacks. Faith put together a decent weight on a day when bites were hard to come by, finishing the day with 6lbs 4ozs 12drms. Mike also managed to 'stitch me up like a kipper' by telling me that there was somthing stuck the heel of my shoe. When I looked down, leg slightly bend to better see my heel, I heard him mutter "Oooh ducky!". The word 'Been had' sprung to mind.


Peg 6...

I asked Nick White to come along to talk to out two title challengers about their respective pegs and I think it paid off for both of them. I will talk about Ollie a bit later on, but looking at the pictures here, he looked very focused all day and did not budge from his seat box. Even our Cheerleader, Anna, was quieter than usual, and kept the shouting and stick throwing to a minimum. A superior performance by young Aquaboy to win the match and the trophy with a fine 13lbs 1oz 4drms.

I can't let him get away without some kind of winding up. Nice lad. Might get to see his next birthday if he stops being cheeky to the lead coach... Stop encouraging him too, Anna!


Peg 7...

The newly nick named, 'Chimp Chucker' (Noah), was fishing with a special guest coach, The lovely Alex. Before I go on, let's address a couple of issues here. Firstly, a Chimp is an affectionate name for the humble Method feeder. If you are 'Chucking the Chimp', then you will be fishing with a feeder. Noah, who has never really fished with a feeder much before, was talked into doing just that by Alex. I'll bet that he's glad that she did! The other issue is that, everyone thought that Alex deserved a relaxing day after travelling with old stinky pants in a confined space. At least the Red Fox was a bit more coherent by the end of the day. I say coherent because, it would much more fun for Tom to be able to understand the lovely Alex, when she repeatedly told him that she had 'beaten' Tom's weight for the day. Because the Chimp Chucker had accumulated an impressive 11lbs 10ozs. Good enough for 2nd place on the day.

11lbs 10ozs is more than 9lbs 3ozs. Alex had managed to get a higher weight than Tom. Tom in no way had as much weight as Alex. Alex would finish higher up the leader board than Tom. Tom would be nearer than lower area of the results list than Alex. I promised I wouldn't make a big deal of the fact that Tom was beaten by Alex. I think I have kept that promise, don't you?

Well done Noah, I think he'll be chucking the chimp more often from now on...


Peg 8...

Sgt. Bracey and the meat. Sounds like a terrible American sit-com or some dodgy independent DJ's. I'm trying to make light of a tough day for these two. I know jerry was determined to make a better day for Joseph. But with limited equipment and a small lad that can't manage the pole that we all knew he would need to use to get to where the fish were, it was always going to be a challenge. I know it was tough because I looked after Joseph myself and bites were almost impossible to find. Joseph is a cheery chap and I think he enjoyed his day. Joseph finished with a hard earned 2lbs 15ozs 4drms


Peg 9...

An altogether more relaxed affair at peg nine with Sofia and Carlos sharing a non-competitive peg. I am so glad Sofia has started to come with us again. Her smile brightens the dullest of days and she can add up better than me too! She has developed a nasty habit of poking me with a rod rest every time she walks passed me. It’s annoyingly cute, but may result in me rearing up like an angry tortoise in the future. All good fun…

Carlos is working hard on his casting skills and is coming along nicely. A bit like calling the colour of a ball in snooker, Carlos can not only say which tree he’s going get caught in, but can now pick out which leaf is going to get it next. Accuracy like this is a born skill that not everyone can master. The exodus of Squirrels moving to more out of range trees is quite a sight and, if I could speak ‘squirrel’, I’m sure I would hear older Squirrels telling tales of ‘the blitz’…

Sofia did catch one larger fish, but modesty prevents me from saying who made that particular cast….


Peg 10…

Young Twiglet had the most touching moment of the day, when dad, Dave, told me what Jack had said. Jack was using the pole formerly owned by my dear friend Martin, who passed way so suddenly three years ago. Peg 10 screams ‘Fish to the island!’, but Jack wanted honour Martin by using his pole exclusively all day. I have no doubt that he may have caught more fish on the feeder from that peg but, being out of the championship fight, Jack had nothing to loose and gained even more respect from me By doing what he did.

This is not the first time Jack has made my heart swell, and knowing him, it won’t be the last. Jack finished with a weight of 4lbs 10ozs 4drms.


Peg 11…

Mud Monster territory… Jakes swim was surprisingly clean today. Dad, Glenn, did remark that even Jake struggled to make a mess on wooden platforms.

Sometimes it is easy to forget that Jake is still new to fishing, but he has come along way. Jake is one of life’s ‘doers’ and wants to get his hands on whatever it is that he is being asked to do. All joking aside, Glenn is not an experienced angler either. They have been learning together, which is wonderful to see and they are both lots of fun to be around too. Glenn has helped give our Juniors an identity with our clothing range. Latest addition is a new hand towel with our logo embroidered on it. Full details of all DDAS Juniors clothing is available on our website.

Jake has led the championship race for most of the year, and it must be a bit gutting to get pipped at the last match. But to be honest, Jake did tell me months ago that he thought Ollie would overtake him at the end. But he hung on bravely for longer than even he thought he would. Jake finished the day, and the season, with 7lbs 13ozs 12drms.

My message to Jake is this.

I could not be more proud of you for your first year of fishing. You have displayed great learning ability and fast skill development throughout the year that has impressed me a lot. Second place to a lad that has years more experience than you is nothing to be sad about, and I think I can speak for the Juniors, parents and coaches when I say big congrats Muddy, ya did good!


So, there we have it. Our last points match of the season... We have a new Junior Club Champion. Please stand master Oliver Smith! Ollie came to us out of the blue after being pushed our way by Alan Winsper. They turned up to a Junior match at Revels on a cold morning, just for a chat. But seeing as one the competitors was not coming, I let them fish with us.

The three of them arrived with a small tackle box and a spinning rod and reel, and very little knowledge of fishing. They were quite clearly a very tight knit family and very dedicated to their sons hobby, whatever it it was that he wanted to do. I could tell Ollie had the one thing that Preston Innovations do not make yet, a deep passion for the sport. I could see a younger me in Ollie, a kid who dedicated nearly every waking moment to his sport/hobby. I still do, however annoying it gets for Trudie... Ollie developed fast, sometimes running before he could walk at times. Confidence overtaking ability. But ability soon caught up and, with the endless support of parents Anna and Stu, went from strength to strength. I want to give Anna some Kudos here. With Stu working on Saturdays, it was left to Anna to bring Ollie to the Junior events and help him during the sessions. She learned along with Ollie and is never afraid to ask for help. Questions that she may have felt were silly, were always put forward to our coaches. Most learning comes from asking what may seem the silliest of questions, but they rarely are. I think Anna needs to takes some credit for Ollies success and I say congratulations to our favourite Cheerleader...

Back to Ollie before Anna's ego gets out of control (again). He has always fitted in well, forming tight friendships/heated rivalries with Jack and, latterly, Jake. Amiable and friendly, Ollie has a cheeky streak which I will find a way of removing from him somehow... My message to Ollie is this. I feel great pride in naming you 2021 Junior Club Champion. I knew it would happen. It was a case of when, not if. You have shown good listening skills over the years we have been coaching you, the evidence of which was demonstrated at Whitemoor and the advice from Nick. Keep your feet on the ground and you go a long way with your fishing. I don't think this will be the last time your name is engraved on that trophy. You are this years Silverfish Champion too, taking the title by some margin. I am very proud of you, You thoroughly deserve it... On behalf of Dorchester and District Angling Society, very well done...


Martin w