north-east get-together

By Ben Fisk


I HAD high hopes for this match, as at one stage last week 56 people were booked on and Woodlands was fishing well. However, a combination of drop outs and people not turning up on the day reduced the participation on the day to 40, but nevertheless an enjoyable day was had by all, and most importantly, a good laugh.

Typical Yorkshire weather ensued… battering winds and rain showers! It is worth pointing out here that before the draw, the groovy gang from thought it would be extremely funny to cable tie my wellies together…

They also stuffed them with paper, and put paper threats saying things like ‘You are going swimming’ in every drawer of my box. Oh and put tins of catmeat (a banned bait at Woodlands) in my bait bucket, and then take photo’s of it. Here is one of such photo, complete with catmeat tin (Thankyou Paul Thompson!)

The draw itself was slightly delayed, as 10 people had not turned up. 2 late comers did arrive just in time, to report they had passed Dave Jackson who had unfortunately broken down. But no thanks to the other 7 who decided not to inform me that they were not coming. Apologies if you had some last minute emergency or something, but it doesn’t exactly make the match organiser’s job easy.

Anyway, onto the fishing. It was terrible at first, the wind and cold rain looked to have taken their toll, but gradually the carp started coming out, and everyone seemed to catch a few in the last couple of hours. Most would have had even more, had it not been for a freak storm half an hour from the end which seemed to kill it off.

Partridge had two muppets from maggotdrowning in the early pegs 3 and 4- Graeme Stamp and Alex Malham, both of whom protested that the match should have been silver fish only, as they ended with 3-8-0 and 1-4-0 of roach respectively. Alex, with a catch like that, the quieter you’d have kept the better, me thinks! Beforehand Alex had decided to make rude hand gestures at the match organiser, then pull a moony at him from across the lake. Most disturbing, so it was fitting that Alex came virtually last… no change there then.

There was some decent weights further along… Dave Sinclad managed 29-4-0 for overall 4th on peg 8, and Martin Holmes’s peg 10 effort of 32-4-0 was enough for 3rd on the day. On pegs 15 and 16, Steve Richards (Dad of young geordie Adam) and Talkangling’s Neil Mack were having an interesting peg to peg battle, with Neil eventually coming out on top, his 15-5-0 catch just edging out Richards on 12-5-0, to win the section. Maggotdrowning’s Ian Ward ran to his corner peg 18 but could only muster a couple of bits and declined to weigh in! Opposite him Grizzly bear Mike Pattinson also bowed out at the weigh in, and was for once lost for words.

It was on Partridge 21 however, that we found our winner. Graham Lowery, a ringer I suppose, but a mate of mine and a maggotdrowner’s, fished the bomb and corn to the middle of the lake, to find a pocket of carp and 42-2-0 for first place. Adam Richards on the next peg could only muster 11lb though, despite insisting he fished exactly the same way as Graham. Off course you did Adam… 😉

A few up on peg 24, and Ozzy Osbourne had come to England. Well he hadn’t actually, as on closer inspection (not too close!) it proved to be Cumbrian nutta Mike Sterland. Now when the rain came pouring down, this geezer needed 2 umbrellas- 1 for his tackle… and 1 for his hair! Mike struggled for 7lb.

Dave Watson on peg 25 faired better, 20-5-0 to win the section by default. So you should have done Dave, after all this practice!

On Partridge 33, an unfancied area, Martin Bailey had a good bag of 34-8-0. This only consisted of only 5-6 fish including a double figure mirror, which strangely enough lacked a tail! Of some surprise however, was that Ian Mackie (AKA Merlin) won the section by default with 15-2-0. He wasn’t wearing his usual outrageous shorts, so the fish he brought with him were apparently down his bib and brace!

Now onto Skylark Lake. I was on peg 2, and struggled in the first 2.5 hours for 2 small carp, before they switched on, on 14.5m pole lines, and I plundered another 7 and a barbel for 17-0-0… and a section win. Mark O’Neill 2 pegs down hooked about 10 fish but most were foulhooked… and he landed 3 for 6lb 4oz. Mark however, failed to take my advice of not striking so hard… so I had to warn the nearby RAF air base incase he took out one of their passing planes!

I was surprised to find that Scoobs had finally dispensed with all his full camo gear… but he spent most of the day rubbing all this dust from his clothes off. He’d been at work, the day before, but apparently forgot to change clothing. Is this a Cumbrian tradition to look as scruffy as possible?

‘Spectron Sneaky’ Kev Hartley on S10 could not make his tartish tackle count, 3-12-0 was all he had to show for the day. However, Gaz Malham had an interesting time on peg 14. Landing a lump on pellet, Gaz told bank runners it was 15lb. By the end of the match however, this had grown to 22lb! Gaz weighed in 10-0-0… and some of that was a tench! As you can see Gaz is renowned for his honesty in weight estimations! Still I beat him by 7 clear pounds… a battering! All that was left to do was to hand over the customary quid side bet, but for once it was coming from Gaz’s direction, not mine! Here’s the evidence… print this off and frame it (it might be worth something in a few years time!).

There was a bit of a dire section towards the bottom end and far side of Skylark, in which 3 DNW’s were recorded and Newcastle’s Paul Thompson took the section spoils with just 6-8-0 from S24.

Joe Carass on S27 might have had more fish, had Kevin Penfold on the next peg not put in a total of 16 balls of groundbait throughout the match (Joe counted by the way!). Still Joe ended with a respectable 12-8-0. Tony Bucknall won his section, and Skylark lake, from peg 30, with quality carp coming to paste late on. And next door, Craig Miller showed how difficult it is to swing carp in on your top 6! However he eventually got his landing net out, and weighed in 4-8-0, enough to beat arch rivals, and bit bashers, Ian and Graeme on Partridge!

Heres a picture of Mike Sterland helping me pick some pools money up that had accidentally spilt out of an envelope. I was quick to ask Mike if he enjoyed the experience, as its not very often he has the chance to pick up money after a match!



G Lowery, P21: 42-2-0

M Bailey, P33: 34-8-0

M Holmes (MD), P10: 32-4-0

D Sinclad (MD), P8: 29-4-0

Sections (By default)

P3 – P10: D Bailey, P6: 13-0-0

P12 – P18: N Mack (TA), P16: 15-5-0

P19 – P27: D Watson (MD), P25: 20-5-0

P28 – P36: I Mackie (TF), P28: 15-2-0

S2-S8: B Fisk (TF), S2: 17-0-0.

S10- S14: G Malham (MD), S14: 10-0-0.

S19 – 25: P Thompson (MD), S24: 6-8-0

S27 – S33: T Bucknall (TF), S30: 18-5-0


Peg by peg analysis (name and shame!)


3. G Stamp (MD): 3-8-0

4. A Malham (MD): 1-4-0

6. D Bailey: 13-0-0

10. M Holmes (MD): 32-4-0

12. Mick Kilkenny: DNW

13. J Fisher: DNW

15. S Richards: 12-5-0

16. N Mack (TA): 15-5-0

18. Ian Ward (MD): DNW

19. M Pattinson: (TF): DNW

21. G Lowery: 42-2-0

22. A Richards (TF): 11-0-0

24. M Sterland (TF): 7-0-0

25. D Watson (MD): 20-5-0

27. J Herbert: DNW

28. I Mackie (TF): 15-2-0

30. M Connop (MD): 5-13-0

31. A Killick (TF): DNW

33. M Bailey: 34-8-0

36. B Zimmerman (MD): 2-8-0.



2: B Fisk (TF): 17-0-0

4. M O’Neill (TF): 6-4-0

5. S Cooper (TF): DNW

7. T Tholdsworth (MD): 4-2-0

8. R Brown: 11-0-0

10. K Hartley (TF): 3-12-0

11. C Bashford (MD): 2-0-0

13. T Ferguson (MD): 9-0-0

14. G Malham (MD): 10-0-0

19. J Hopton (MD): DNW

21. E Bulmer: DNW

22. F Munaser: NDW

24. P Thompson (MD): 6-8-0

25. S Armstrong (MD): 4-11-0

27. J Carass (TF): 12-8-0

28. K Penfold: DNW

30. T Bucknall (TF) 18-5-0

31. C Miller (MD): 4-8-0

33. A Rogerson (MD): 16-8-0.


It had been a testing time on an unusually peggy spring Woodlands. However everyone enjoyed the day (I think!) and had a good laugh. Thanks to Mark O’Neill for his help with the pegging and Gaz Malham for what few pictures there are. I will organise another one in early August, when sport should be consistent and the winner should need 80-100lb+… that’s if the weather holds!

Catch you later,


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