Coarse Angling Section.
Just when you were thinking….does that Section still exist ? …here we are, like a bad penny.
I’ve two very different tales to tell…
The Bob Bennett Memorial Match is an annual event held in memory of a lovely man who had many facets. Some of you will remember him……he had one of those voices you could bottle….just like that man on ‘Coast’….to be opened up when you wanted cheering up. He had a ready tale, not always PC but witty and never hurtful. He had a softer side in his love of wild life especially birds and it was to that Charity formed to help protect their environment that the proceeds of the Match were destined.
During Bob’s life he was a Grenadier Guardsman, a Police Officer, an Environmental agency Water bailiff and a Member of the Buffs. These 4 institutions together with the Aldershot Garrison angling Section are invited to enter Teams of 5 anglers each year to contest for a silver trophy donated by his family.
Unfortunately the Buffs couldn’t enter a Team so the remaining 4 teams met on Sunday 1st July at Shawfields Lakes in Ash to do battle. These are 2 picturesque lakes holding a variety of species of fish but the main target for match-anglers are the bream, tench and roach. Unlike carp venues favoured by commercial fisheries bream venues tend to give a few anglers a good day and the rest a frustrating day scratching for bites. Bream tend to stay in shoals and rarely move far during their day so it’s the luck of the draw. We are good ‘scratchers’ though and those with no bream in front of them did enough to secure our third win of the trophy – but only just.
We tied on points with the Environment Agency but had superior weight that tipped the balance. Yours truly was lucky to have the bream in front of him and topped the weights with 28lb together with the biggest fish of the day, a bream of 5lb. Brian Stevens won his section with 16lb of tench and roach with Ian Chandler eking out just over the pound of bits to win his section, although he did have ‘the one that got away’ story to tell later.
After the match we retired to a local hostelry for a buffet, raffle and presentation of trophies. Bob’s son attended this year to do the honours and thanked all who attended.trophies.
The two other team members were Ian Moram and Fred Jackson.
Two days later we are out again for the Annual Regional Championships hosted by Kent Police. This was not the Police Service Sports environment at its best. It started acrimoniously with unfortunate attitudes and discrimination which may go further so I will relate the bare bones.
The Match was originally to be fished on the River Rother at Newenden but the recent torrential rain had damaged the banks and were considered dangerous on the stretch we were to fish which forced the organisers to change the venue to a commercial Fishery……Hartleylands. This is a popular carp fishery that regularly produces 200lb bags of fish.
The Match was for teams of 6 anglers. Unfortunately we were unable to field a full side. We had 5 anglers up until the day before when another member dropped reducing our numbers to 4. This meant we had no chance of competing for any honours apart from the Individual aspect. The match was fished on 2 lakes, Nick’s and Pear Tree lakes. It was a wet, drizzly day reflecting the controversy at the start and set the mood of the day.
As with any carp venue the method of catching fish and the bait to be used was crucial and local knowledge was of tantamount importance. To a non-angler this sounds like an excuse but there’s far more to it than ‘chuck it and see’ With little chance to practise it was try different methods until you caught. Suffice to say we all caught a lot of fish but not in the quantities required. Just as an example……I caught 60 carp and weighed-in 42lb. Every fish was under 1 lb with the Kent angler next to me caught 74lb of carp all of a similar size. On the opposite side of the lake the majority of fish were over 1 lb.
Hampshire Police we’re also one angler short so we both propped up the bottom of the table with local lads Kent taking all the honours with Sussex 2nd. The top weight was 150lb with 2 other weights over 100lb.
After the match we retired to a local for the results but it was a sombre occasion with little cheer.
Our next venture will be the Force Individual….but let’s get the Olympics out of the way first.
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