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Junior Match#4 - Dead Tree Lake - Revels

HEADLINES: Man saved from Pasta Salad nightmare by fork Mole gets airborne Junior launches leaf armada

I don’t think that I have fully come down after last weekend yet. I still get a warm fuzzy feeling when I think about what we achieved at Todber Manor and from the comments we received from some very notable people. Not that our coaches feel at all threatened by him but, Des Shipp is considering paying the £13,000 membership fee that I told him he would need to pay to partner Jack Cryer in the Senior/Junior Pairs Match, after Jack flat out asked Des to fish with him. We have had tackle donations promised from Milo and Daiwa in the future, and there are lots of Nick Speed signed Shimano caps floating about.

The kids from the Broadmayne school trip have yet to stop vibrating because they had such a good time at Luckfield on the following Monday. Four out of the five participants have joined us on Spond with a view to purchasing a membership soon. All in all, a successful few days…

Back to domestic duties this week, this time at Revels fishery for our fourth Junior match of the year. With the way that the word is (finally) getting out about the fact that fishing is the greatest thing to happen since sliced bread and the breakup of Take That, I am taking steps to create some additional coaching sessions to cater for our newer anglers. These will be held on midweek days during the school holidays. When I have finalised the arrangements, I will let you know via the usual channels.

It was an early start for me again this week. But, as usual, I awoke way earlier than I needed to and told the Cockerel to keep his beak shut lest he awake M’Lady. (I turned the alarm clock off). I leaped spritely from neath the duvet and skipped to the ablution room. Ok, so, I haven’t ‘Leapt Spritely’ since 1984 and I skip for no man in fear of it being interpreted as exercise… Only unfit people exercise the same as only dirty people wash… The reason I awoke to greet the arrival of the sun is because I was hosting a taster session before the main event for an appropriately named young man called Archie Fisher. Archie had no experience of fishing in the past. These are my favourite kind of juniors. Ones that we can mould into shape the way we want them, without outside influences and the scourge of all teachings (sometimes), You Tube! The last thing any coach wants to hear is, Des says this or, Jamie says that or, Andy said the other. Yeah, well, go and pay the £200+ to let them do it. You’re getting this for free and Mummy and Daddy like that more. So, listen up! An interesting thing happened in the carpark before we even started. As I was doing my introductions, a pink haired lady approached Archie, mum Katie, and myself with a small boy in tow. I had a sinking feeling as I watched them walk closer that I had double booked a taster session! My mind was racing through my mental diary and the words ‘Oh Dear God No!’ repeated on a loop at a thousand miles an hour. “Do you know where I can find Katie?”, Lady Pink Hair asked. The answer was, ‘Yes, I did. She’s right here!’ Katie (Archie’s mum), was now looking perplexed. Why was a stranger asking for her whilst she was standing in a carpark of a fishery that she had never before visited? “I want some eggs” said Lady Pink Hair and held out a post-it note. The penny then dropped. Katie is Jason’s wife at the fishery. Katie sells eggs at the shop. Not ‘this’ Katie. ‘That’ Katie… There was a smattering of relieved laughter as we realised that all was good in the world, and I hadn’t dropped the ball from a great height! Archie had a great Taster session, although, he may have been a little overwhelmed but the gathering crowd of juniors and parents arriving for the match. This was relieved by a good-sized cheer when Archie hooked a fish. Archie was determined to ‘Catch a whopper!’ and the whopper came in the shaped of a 1lb Hybrid! Not a bad effort for the first time with a three-meter whip! The one-hour session was enough for Archie on his first attempt, and it was all too soon time to say our farewells. I informed the non-egg selling Katie about the services we could offer them at DDAS Juniors as we walked through the carpark. This carried on as we walked through the gate. We were halfway to the shop when I stopped and asked her where she had parked? “Back there”, she said. “Well, why are we walking up here then?” I asked. “ I don’t know, I was following you!” ... More chuckles, and I escorted them BACK to their vehicle…

Once Archie had left, three-thousand questions flattened me like a steam roller. When are we starting? Same as always… Where are we fishing? Have you just walked along the bank? Yes… Did you see the peg numbers in the ground? Yea…(penny drops)..oh… Yep, well done Sherlock… Graham? Graham? GRAHAM! Aaaargh!!! Someone make it stop!

To be fair, it was nothing like that. But all the questions that were normally spread over one-hour, were compressed into 15-minutes… With gear still set up from the taster session, I took the opportunity (AGAIN!) to talk to the shrimps about setting up your equipment efficiently so you can reach everything without getting up. I look forward to doing this again very soon because few of them listened judging by the tackle chaos during the match. Repeat until learned. Or threaten someone as an example of what happens if they don’t listen next time. The draw was a little late and it went something like this. Peg 1: Ollie Smith (Aquaboy) Peg 2: Harry Cryer (Thing #2) Peg 3: Austin Scott-Kennedy (Rambo) Peg 4: Caoimhin D’Errico (Mr Tangle) Peg 5: Jack Copp (Twiglet) Peg 6: Jack Cryer (Thing #1) Peg 7: Josiah Wells-Parkes

Your coaching cast for this week is,

Graham Howard – Capt. Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce Jon Bass – Col. Sherman T. Potter Si Wagner – Corp. Walter ‘Radar’ O’Reilly Chris Ward – Capt. Father John Patrick Francis Mulcahy Tim Broughton – Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt Honorary Coach Anna McKay-Smith – Maj. Margret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan.

Peg One: Oliver Smith: When you’re not on a good run, all you seem to be given is a shovel full of something brown and nasty, and a fan to throw it at. The peg at the far end was always going to be a challenge to whom-so-ever should draw it. But, with limited space, I had no choice but to include it. In the bag of dreams, it was to Ollie’s fingers that the number one token stuck. I wanted to help Ollie more today because the better juniors sometimes get overlooked. I even loaned Ollie a pole and rollers for the day because he had broken his (again…). Dead Tree has changed a lot since I last fished on there and not just the vegetation. The topography of the lake had altered during maintenance work and shallow bits were deep, and deep bits were shallow. I got him set up and briefed him as to what may work and what would not. After an hour or so, I returned to find that all was not well. No Carp and just two silvers. Time to roll up the sleeves. First, we got him clipped up. Ollie had been trying to cast free-style to the far side. But that ends with nervous casts and bushes. Once he’d nailed the distance, we targeted a mud line patch and proceeded to start to ‘Bang the dinner gong’ with the feeder to attract some interest. Interest came in the shape of an enthusiastic Carp which proceeded to find someone else’s discarded tackle. It locked solid with the fish and Ollie both looking confused as nothing that either of them did made any difference to the situation. Jon won’t let me call him the ‘Bushman’, but he definitely earned the title as he clambered bravely into the undergrowth to free the snagged boy’s line. I have no doubt that there were flashbacks of his time in ‘Nam’, fighting hand to hand with the enemy in the jungle**. **Disclaimer: Jon was never in Vietnam. His main focus is still to conquer Scotland. Sadly, it was all for nought as the fish got bored and released itself. Never mind, there’s more where that came from. A really tight cast had fish visibly feeding in the mud, clouding the water as they did so. One fish bumped and another lost showed that if Ollie owned a goldfish, it would have drowned today. Annamama’s frustrations from Todber turned to sympathy today as, whatever Ollie did, turned to dust in his hands… He did manage to grab a Carp to save face before the end. Ollies frustrating day ended with just 2lb 11ozs. Time for a reset and come back to do it all again next time at Whitemoor. You got this champ…

Peg Two: Harry Cryer: Dear lord the noise when the Cryer boys are fishing! You just can’t hear yourself cast sometimes. They never stop talking, shouting down the lake, and oh the language! Is what I would love to write about these too lads. Well, apart from the language bit! But you hardly know they are there. I’m going a bit mutton and Jeff in my old age, and sometimes I find my ears pressed to their mouth to hear what they are saying! I’m sure Mum and Dad will disagree with most of the above at home but, at the lake, almost silence. Nice Bloke Tim spend a good amount of time with Harry today and they had a good peg. Apart from being crushed from either side by casting from both Ollie and Austin from time to time. I stepped in and advised the others on their peg boundaries after a while to make it fairer on Harry. Despite this, Harry was casting the feeder well into his part of the far side bay. He is still poleless at the moment which can hold him back for catching silverfish when the Carp don’t want to play. For some, fishing the feeder all day can be a bit mind bending. Harry amused himself by making ‘boats’ from leaves and twigs, and then floating them (watching them sink) in the water. This was towards the end and so did not really bother anyone… Nature engineering at its finest? Harry ended the day with reasonable 8lbs 8ozs.

Peg Three: Austin Scott-Kennedy: Firstly, I must apologise for letting slip an ‘F-Bomb’ in front of Austin’s dad, Tom. I had just ‘gone on my rear end’ down a slope and tweaked my wrist a bit. It must have jogged my PC filter into neutral for a second… I’m guessing that mum, Amy, uses some filthy words at home but, that’s no excuse for a mild-mannered coach. It will happen again… WON’T!, It won’t happen again…

Now that’s out of the way. Austin. Austin won the Most Improved Newcomer last year and he’s beginning to underline my choice. I watched some pretty accurate casts going in next to some grasses on the far bank. He needed to keep it tight to avoid the wrath of the lead coach for fishing in someone else’s swim! It was right on the edge of me saying something but, when you looked at the borderline between him and Harry, it was right on the line without needing VAR… Austin caught some decent sized fish compared to the others today. But it wasn’t all beer and skittles for him. His plan of attack was the waggler down the centre with pellets. None of the fish had read the script though because his float remained motionless. His only option was to hammer the feeder until they submitted. Submit they did and, after a while steady catching, I heard that he had a big fish on. Going on past experience of Austin playing large fish, the coaches and I made a shelter out of sticks and branches and phoned our mums to see if we could stay out late. The lad does take his time with the big girls, and this was a very big girl. Round and round it went as we watched, mesmerised by the circling line on the water. I imagine that even the Carp was thinking that he’d promised to be home earlier that afternoon, and what the heck was taking so long??? Lead coach to the rescue by using ‘The Hand OF POWER!’ to help Austin apply some extra weight onto the fish, and to put an actual bend in the rod! I jest of course. Austin’s rod is very soft and needs more ‘Omfph’ from the user to apply some pressure to the fish. In the end, Tom slipped the net under her and she was done. It was worth the wait though because the fish weighed 9lbs 9ozs which was close to half of Austin’s winning weight of 20lbs 11ozs. I think I am right in saying that this was Rambo’s first junior win! If so, Congrats!

Peg Four: Caoimhin D’Errico: Being one of newest anglers, everything is a little ‘clunky’ at the moment for C.D. The best thing is that he is super keen and trying like mad to improve. Having some extra challenges doesn’t help him much, but he’s not letting those slow him down much either. Some of the fish were putting combat helmets on to swim through C.D’s peg because of the Blitzkrieg of feeders raining down on them. One cast hit the bank so hard that I swear, seven meters up the far bank, I saw a mole twirling two feet in the air before diving straight back into it's hole again. Towards the end, the casting was coming, and feeders were landing where he wanted them to. Short casts of 20 meters are tricky to execute for new anglers but made even more so by long rods. C.D. had been given an 11ft rod from the Re-Gen but was using his own 12ft rod. I don’t blame him for using a rod that is his own and he had no knowledge of which rods to use for which situation. This is evidence of his enthusiasm. Thanks to Si Wag, C.D. is now armed with a 9.5ft rod to see how he gets on with it. Now all we need to do is show him how to set it up! Caoimhin did well to catch 13lbs of fish today, and the fish did well to avoid being knocked out! It was a proud moment to be able to announce to the others that after only his fourth time fishing, Caoimhin had recorded his first podium and a Revels shop voucher for £5. (Which he received like it was a decent lottery win!) Well done Kiddo!

Peg Five: Jack Copp: I have mentioned that if Ollie had a pet fish, it would likely drown. With the hand that Jack is currently drawing with now, he would likely be able to bring it back to life again! Little mister golden………hands, strikes again. Corner peg 48 has made grown men burst into tears in gratitude for such a fish heavy section of water. Converting luck into weight isn’t always a given though. Supported today by mum, Donna (It must be summertime, Official!), Jack got off to a good start. Slipping nets under proper fish is always a confidence booster, and quickly, he was a few fish ahead of the rest. But then Revels happened. One of the characteristics of Revels is that it will lull you into a false sense of security. The match starts and ‘Boom!’ you’re into a couple of fish straight away. In your head you’re thinking ‘If this carries on, I’ll walk it!’. Revels hears this thought, laughs, then switches off. Then you must do it all again. This is kind of what happened to Jack. Revels Laughed at him. In the much shorter junior matches, time is limited to rebuild your swim again. Jack is another one trying hard to improve his skills with a pole and doing well. Jack is pushing out thirteen meters now with a pole that isn’t easy to control. But he’s trying and that’s excellent. Jacks speed around his seat box will come in time. I don’t want him pushing himself too hard and getting in a mess. Move fast when you’re fishing against an aging Jamie Hughes for £150,000, not for a £15 gift voucher. Slow it down a bit and be more thorough. Get rid of that ruddy rod roost will be a start. I hate them… Jack finished with 9lbs 6ozs. Good job!

Peg Six: Jack Cryer: Part two of the quiet brothers, Jack was also in a less desirable swim. It was narrow and snaggy against the island, and the fish have plenty of places to hide away from hooks. I say less desirable from the point of view that it is not as often included in matches. Like his brother, Jack is yet to arm himself with a pole and might be missing out on a few easy silverfish. Having an armoury of rods only comes with experience and time. If the boys are enjoying their fishing with what they have, who can criticise? Jack’s peg had two obvious areas to fish in. The far bank and on the point of the island. Towards the end, Jack was finding a few fish to put in his net, including one that now clearly identified as Barbel. (Long and slender). The day, like Jack, was a quiet one and I don’t know what else to say? Jack ended his match with 12lbs 8ozs. One more fish would have secured him a podium finish. Well done Jack…

Peg Seven: Josiah Wells-Parkes: Jojo was end-peg Charlie today and he was told the following on more than one occasion by Si Wag, Sir Jon, and I, It’s a silvers peg. With this golden information wedged tightly into his brain, Jo set up his pole to fish as close to advised area as he could get. Jo is another angler with determination to fish better with a pole and is making good progress. Sadly, today the fish were not told that this was a ‘Silvers peg’. Jo thrashed the pole to yield only waspy Perch which was not going to butter any Parsnips for a good match result. His only option was to break out the feeder rod and use some old-fashioned patience. It worked and, like a few of the others, fish seemed to remember their purpose and started to eat some bait. Jo is edging closer to that elusive match win. He will get there, and no one will be as pleased for him as me when he does. Sometimes you have to a little luck on your side. That luck was with Austin today because, without his 9lb Carp, Josiah would have been walking away with the biggest smile ever! Jo weighed in 14lbs 6ozs. Good job Jojo…

Extra thanks to James today for finding the fact that I had forgotten to bring a fork to eat my pasta salad was amusing enough to some pictures. I was going to use two disgorgers as chopsticks. But I can’t use chopsticks! The only thing I could think to use was a Quickstop spike! The day was saved by Jack’s mum, Donna, who let me borrow a fork. Big thanks to her because the match was only 4 hours long and I wanted to finish eating before October….

Results of today’s match were, 1st Austin Scott-Kennedy – 20lbs 11ozs 2nd Josiah Wells-Parkes – 14lbs 6ozs 3rd Caoimhin D’Errico – 13lbs

Championship Standings are, 1st Austin Scott-Kennedy – 79pts 2nd Harry Cryer – 78pts 3rd Josiah Wells-Parkes – 68pts 4th Jack Copp – 67pts Austin still leads the Silverfish Championship by over 6lbs… So, that wraps up another junior match. Big Congratulations to the winners. I will be in touch with you all regarding the dates and venues for the midweek coaching sessions (Tuesday Club). Thank you to our team of coaches, Jon Bass, Si Wagner, Chris Ward, and Tim Broughton. Thank you to Jason Fricker and the staff at Revels for their continuing help and support. Our next event is on the 3rd of June for our first ever Junior Open Day. Just email me to book in or go through Spond. Our next match is on the 16th of June at Revels for the Junior Evening Knockout Series (Float Only Edition). Take care and tight lines, Juniors Sec…

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