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Junior Points Match #5 - 24/06/23 - Chester's Lake - Whitemoor.


DDAS Juniors gains Umbrella Girl. DDAS Juniors dismisses Umbrella Dad. Feeder finally finds feeding fish.

Artistic casting aids consistency.

It was good to get back out on the bank with the DDAS shrimps again this weekend because, the fact I was there at all meant that M’Lady was feeling well enough for me to go out. The Sarge and I had two opportunities to go to Whitemoor for a practice during the week, both of which were scuppered by the good lady being laid low with ultra-high pollen levels that had suffers reaching for antihistamines by the handful. But Thursday evening saw her trough a curry, so one could assume that she was feeling a bit better, at least for that moment. How the bathroom would feel the following day would be anyone’s guess…

Today’s event was being sponsored by the Angling Trust’s ‘Get Fishing’ campaign which meant reduced cost to those that came. To add to that, Whitemoor was going to provide some nibbles and a few prizes for everyone at the end. What more could one ask for?

The car was fully laden with all manner of items from the usual paraphernalia of junior coaching to Re-Gen items for master Finley Kew like a pole, seat box, keepnet, etc… All that and a packed lunch fit for any fat bloke to enjoy, the car weighed more than a frontline combat vehicle.

The cockerel got kicked at about 6am and the ball was rolling on a day that already felt like it was going to be a warm one. The journey was largely uneventful save for the fact that I had left the signs for directing lost parents to the fishery at the bottom of the pile of debris that filled the car’s interior. Much pulling, grunting, and a couple of words that frightened a couple of local rabbits, saw the signs set free and they were given their positions for the day.

A quick chat with Sir Thomas of Whitemoor about the day’s proceedings and we were away.

Flags up and our one remaining banner zip tied into place because the bungee toggles have disappeared along with the promo banner, I pegged the lake out and distributed the landing and keep nets to all the pegs. I decanted the tackle shop of equipment to the lake and had a look at Sir Tom’s handy work towards the rear of Chester’s Lake.

(Formerly the Top Lake but, apparently people were getting confused as to which end of the track was ‘the top’. I suppose it depends on which end of the track you currently located at. Either way the Top Lake, aka the donut lake, is now dubbed Chester’s Lake after Tom’s sadly departed dog who now rests by the side of his own pond. A very pretty one it is too.) All the prep done, I found myself in my most favourite part of the day. The calm before the chaos…

With everyone assembling, Josiah approached me and asked if I could show him how to make a paste rig. I sensed an opportunity for some coaching, so I gathered the juniors on an empty peg. Now, I’m a fairly patient guy. Most of the time. I coach children so I must have a measure of patience let’s face it. But what grinds my gears is not being listened to when I am delivering pearls of wisdom. I’m not going to mention any names but, a few individuals were definitely not listening to the tutorial I was trying to deliver. In fact, one had their back to me! Down came the red mist and out came Mr Stern Coach. I advised them that I already knew about the information that I was attempting to pass on and that I most certainly was not doing it for my own benefit. If any of them did not want to listen, that they should kindly remove themselves to make way for those that did. Words to that effect anyway. I wasn’t at all happy, but I think I got the message across, the tutorial was completed successfully, and nobody died. I’ve no doubt it will happen again, and next time they will be asked to step away. Warning enough? Well, we will see, won’t we?

On to the fishing then and the match looked something like this, Peg 1: Josiah Wells-Parkes (His Lordship) Peg 2: Ollie Smith (Aquaboy) Peg 3: Harry Cryer (Carnage) Peg 4: Kit Freeman (The Knight Rider…obviously!) Peg 5: Jake Taylor (The Mud Monster) Peg 6: Austin Scott-Kennedy (Rambo) Peg 7: Caoimhin D’Errico (Mr Tangle) Peg 8: Jack Copp (Twiglet) Peg 9: Jack Cryer (Thing #1)

Sadly, Finley Kew, would be a no show because he had the Sicky Pukes/Wirly Splats. A little frustrating seeing as half the contents of my car were for him, and I would be taking it home again! But, if you have the Psychedelic Yawns, it can’t be helped… (I don’t know what the problem was, but this is the Mud-Slinger, so I have utilised artistic licence).

Your diminished coaching team for today were, Graham Howard – Moe Jerry Bracey – Larry Chris Ward – Curly (Ask your grandma!) Guest Umbrella Girl, Anna McKay-Smith (Annamama).

Peg One: Josiah Wells-Parkes: I’m always concerned for Jo in the hot weather, and I know about Asthma and its related conditions all too well. Jo had drawn on the bank that was going to get the full force of the sun all day, and the shade wouldn’t reach him until he was already packing away. But Sexy Dad James was on hand to provide shelter by holding his sizable wallet over the boys’ head for shelter. Naturally, this wouldn’t last long because of the weight, so the switch was made to a more traditional umbrella after only 2 minutes. I’ll give Jo credit for wanting to try something new during a match, always a risky thing to do, particularly with a tricky method like paste. But he was one of those that did actually listen, and he was determined to put it in practice. I think he learned a lot today and even managed a couple of fish on it too. But the day was all about the method feeder for juniors unfamiliar, or unable to fish the required lengths of pole needed on Chester’s Lake. I think Jo suffered a little in the twenty-six-degree heat, but he kept at it and was rewarded with 17lbs 8ozs and 14 championship points. Good effort Jo…

Peg Two: Oliver Smith: Another to suffer in the heat was Ollie, and it showed in the boys’ face. Fortunately, Ollie had the DDAS’s one and only umbrella girl in the shapely form of Annamama. She stood, like Sexy Dad, with an umbrella held over her little cherub so that he did not burst into flames in the sun. My suggestion of a swimming costume or crop top and hot pants was met with more enthusiasm by James than it was by Anna. James even offered to strip to his ‘not so tighty whities’ there and then! The image of which I am still fighting with over 14 hours later! I raised my camera to capture the moment for prosperity (and absolutely not for the blog), but I’ve been in relationships long enough to know when a simple look could result in a threat to my personal safety, or even death. There is an old saying that goes ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’. Form is something that comes and goes in every sporting activity, and there was a time when you could just give the winnings to Ollie and then fish the match. But recently form has slipped away a little and Ollie finds himself being frustrated by lower results than he has been used to. But we all know that Ollie is a class angler, and it is just a case of digging deep to find the form again. My advice would be to listen to and read more of the advice being offered to him. To turn up with a pole and no pellets at a venue like Whitemoor, is not the way to claw back your rightful place towards the top of the table. Application is everything and I know that Ollie can apply himself better than he has of late. Maybe his interest is outside of the match scene, and that is fine. But I feel it would a shame for Ollie not to shine in match fishing during his time with the juniors before pursuing other forms of fishing. Ollie was a little slow to react to the fact that feeder was the way to go, and I know how that feels because my own match fishing career suffered with the same problem. I’m convinced that Ollie can sharpen up again and show everyone the skills that we all know he has. Ollie finished the match with 6lbs 9ozs and 11points. I know you can bounce back Ollie….

Peg Three: Harry Cryer: The Cryer boys arrived with diminished equipment because dad Paul had to do the word that I hate to use because of how it interferes with fishing. Work… The boys would be transported to the event in the back of Sgt. Bracey’s riot van instead. I hope the cages were not too uncomfortable for them. I gave Harry the nickname ‘Carnage’ for good reason. He fishes in absolute chaos! I couldn’t do it… Even looking at him sat in the maelstrom of tackle gives me anxiety chills… Rods here, nets there, Oh lord, I’ve started sweating again!!!

If you kicked his stuff everywhere, ran over it with a tractor, then tossed a hand grenade at it before taking cover, it would still be more organised!!!But, somehow, he manages to find a way to catch fish. Not as many as he may have been getting used to, but that could have been due to the fact that fish were unfamiliar with this corner of the lake due to it looking so different… Harry caught 12lbs 14ozs of extremely lost and confused Carp for 12 points. In my mind I’m going to the next peg already because my OCD alarm has been triggered again… I need some water and a lie down….

Peg Four: Kit Freeman: The Knight Rider is one of newer juniors and, the consensus amongst the coaches is that he is one to watch. Kit is keen (as most juniors are), but he absorbs info like a sponge. When you are speaking to him or showing him something, you can feel him dragging the information from you and it is very satisfying. I showed him how to find the tiniest of contours on the lakebed that can be a magnet for fish, and he showed learning by immediately catching a fish from it. His pole handling skills are exceptional for a junior that has just started using one, and he doesn’t try overreach his own ability. It sounds like I’m over egging the mix here, But my vision is to take a team to the junior national in the future, and anglers like Kit, along with Ollie, Jack, Jo, and Austin, are making the vision become closer to reality because of their drive to fish with a pole. In nationals, poles are everything because of the venues where they are held. So, the focus for those that show an aptitude for pole fishing will be to bring them on as much as possible so that we can, one day, enter a team. Kit did exceptionally well today for a weight of 22lbs 7ozs for third place and 17 sweet points. Well done Kit…

Peg Five: Jake Taylor: Dare I say that Jake has fished two consecutive matches on the bounce, or is it because the football season has finished, and he has nothing else to do? Whatever the reason, I’m always pleased to see Jake at our events. To me, it is obvious that Jake has a bit of remembering to do, or at least some de-rusting. Either way, he fished a large part of the match with little personal assistance due to the skeleton coaching team and did very well too. It was clear that the bush opposite Jake would and did hold some catchable fish. But Jake remembered fishing this peg before and knew that there was a bounty to be had in the margins. The fish remembered too and stayed away, save for a few new fish that didn’t know Jake was back. The upside of Jake’s return is meeting the lovely Linda. The downside that his dad Glenn comes to pick him up! I’m joking of course, I love the guy really and he knows it. Glenn does have this weird fetish of trying to give himself more work by constantly suggesting that food should served at every event. After his sterling performance at our Open Day at Revels, he knows that he will be ‘in the smoke’ again when we do another one! The resurgent Jake flopped 18lbs 9ozs on the scales for 15 points. Good on you Muddy!

Peg Six: Austin Scott-Kennedy: Rambo had picked a good spot and he was going to need to fish well to keep up his record of not being off the podium all season so far. As the year goes on, the pressure builds to maintain his form. But he is a cool character and just fishes his match the best way he knows. Austin is another who has a desire to learn more about pole fishing, but he had the where-with-all to know that today wasn’t the day for poles. At least for the juniors. One thing I did notice about Austin is his unique casting style. I watched him ‘chuck the chimp’ a few times during the match and his casts ranged from a decent underarm swing to something that resembled a full-on pendulum cast! (Look it up on you tube, those guys are amazing!). This isn’t a criticism, just an observation of a junior who is trying to find the right cast for the situation they find themselves in. I confess I found it slightly amusing though. I have been there and know the feeling well. It would appear that Amy still isn’t talking to me and avoiding me at all costs. Though she has threatened to return to see us soon and give me a bumper load of blog material that used to make the part of the job so easy… Austin is having a cracking year so far. I don’t think there is a single person who doesn’t wish him continued consistency apart from the other juniors he is competing against! 26lbs 13ozs was enough to secure second place and 20 points for a seven-point lead in the championship. I can only applaud his consistency. Proper job mate!

Peg Seven: Caoimhin D’Errico: My mate ‘Keef’ must remember that he is still very new to fishing and that skills take time to form. You might read that and think that he is getting despondent with it, but he just doesn’t. We need to remember that he managed a fine third at Revels, even if the fish simply surrendered to avoid the blitzkrieg by seeking sanctuary in his keepnet…All aspects of Keef’s fishing need attention and he knows that. The great thing is that HE KNOWS THAT and wants to learn. Enthusiasm cannot be bought. But it can be nurtured and that’s what we’re going to do. I am going to arrange a casting session in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled for that. Caoimhin would have most definitely won the ‘Best Effort’ award for persistence if there was one. Not moving once from his peg despite the blistering heat. I even spent a good hour with him trying to make it happen for him, but the fish had already been mesmerised by the platter of bait that had been laid down by Jack in the next peg. They were both fishing to the corner of the same island and Jack’s accurate casting was drawing the fish away from Mr Tangles swim. He managed to snare one solitary Carp for just 1lb 6ozs and even the camera was against him because it messed up the only picture of the one fish that he did catch! But the most heartening part of that was the response from the other juniors, parents and coaches who gave Keef the biggest round of applause of the day. That is the atmosphere that makes a bad day something not to be feared. We are family and we win and lose together. Thank you to everyone for showing him such compassion.

Peg Eight: Jack Copp: Jack said that he didn’t want this peg when he drew it. I’ve been around too many match anglers to recognise bluster when I see it! I think Jack would have preferred Keef’s peg initially, but you make do with what you draw, and he did. I have spoken about Jack’s casting skills before and today would not disappoint either. He was casting so tight to the island that the fish had to go into areas where they had never seen in order to get at the feeder! Ok, so, when you push that far you’re going to find trees every now and then, and this is where preparation comes in. Jack got snapped up once but instead of having to re-tackle, he simply picked up the other rod by his side that was ready to go. I would be even more impressed if it had been Jack’s idea to have a spare rod, but Dave sent him prepared seeing as he was not able to be there until the end. (If it was Jack’s idea, I apologise!) If I may, I would like to offer jack a little advice now… There is a very thin grey line between confidence and arrogance, one that is easy to cross. Being the Mud-Slinger, that was written with a little tongue in cheek but, at the start jack did ask me about net limits which are set at 66lbs. With an hour to go, Jack trotted up to the Sarge and I and asked for another keep net! He was sent packing back to his peg because, even someone like me who is rubbish at guessing weights, knew that Jack would have at most only 25lbs of fish in his net!!! It was a funny moment though. Maybe Jack was using psychological warfare on his fellow juniors? Another brilliant performance from Jack saw him weigh a winning 32lbs 9ozs for 25 sweet points, a voucher for £15 for Alan’s Angling, and first dibs on the table of goodies at the end. Excellent work…

Peg Nine: Jack Cryer: Quiet Jack seemed to be suffering the same fate as Caoimhin on the other side of Twiglet in that his fish were being lured into a swim being so accurately fed. It took Jack quite a while to catch a fish despite giving it a good go. Being drawn next to a good angler on a good peg can be soul destroying, but Jack kept at it and started to poach fish that were going to dine out in Twiglets peg. Jack is still reasonably new to the sport, but he is showing great promise with his casting. Jack had a quiet day to finish with 14lbs 15ozs and 13 points in the bag. Good job Jack…

I must give special mention to the lunch supplied by Tom. With drinks, crisps, and cooked nibbles, we were even treated to iced lollies that were a welcome relief from the heat. We were all thoroughly spoiled. I want to know where those mini sausages came from because I could quite happily add to my building cholesterol with those!!!

We had a short visit from Liam and Hazel today too. I am always gladdened, not only to see them both, but also to see the therapeutic effect that angling can have on people. Liam caught six fish in the hour that he was with us. I look forward to seeing them again very soon…

So, your winners for today are; 25-points - Jack Copp - 32lbs 9ozs 20-points – Austin Scott-Kennedy – 26lbs 13ozs 17-points – Kit Freeman – 22lbs 7ozs

Championship A. Scott-Kennedy 99pts J. Copp 92pts H. Cryer 90pts

Unless Kate Winslet ever turns up to one of our junior sessions, my first thanks will always go to the coaches for their sterling efforts. Chris and Jerry walked a groove around Chester’s Lake today and we appreciate them for it… If you are reading this and have considered helping out with our junior events, please get in touch with me for a chat. The bigger team we have, the more likely it will be that we can deliver a quality junior session. You don't have to fully commit (although that would be great!), you only need to make yourself available from time to time, or when you can. You will receive a free DBS check if you do not already have one. Email me on

Big thank you to Tom at Whitemoor fishery who, despite saying it was all the Angling Trust’s doing, still had to make the effort to make the day so complete. I very much look forward to doing this again very soon…Thank you.

Our next session is our first on the river Stour at Nutford this coming Saturday 1st July… I am asking for feedback as to whether it might be a good idea to make this first visit a coaching session to make up for the one that we missed out on in March due to the rain. When you book in, please state ‘Match’ or ‘Coaching’ as your preference.

Thank you…

Juniors Sec…

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