WHAT started out as a few South West members suggesting an excuse for chance to meet up eventually resulted in a fully fledged three team ‘open’ event located at possibly the best fishery in the whole of the UK.

It all started when I happened to gate crash a thread suggesting a meeting up of around five or six hardened Total-Fishing.com regulars asking for a chance to meet up and get the opportunity to put faces to names of regulars here on this site. I happened to be down in ‘sunny’ Devon for a period in the summer on our families annual two week ‘sojourn’ to Andy Seery’s Stafford Moor Fisheries. I casually threw in a comment, “well, if you can have it during our holiday’s at Stafford Moor, I’ll organise it’, and that as they say was that !

 

Why am I getting strange phone calls?

Five or six members of both the TF.com and the TFclub.com site seemed very keen on the idea so it was on. Such is the attraction, and close nature of the venue regulars word soon spread of this ‘one off’ mid week open, friends of the members involved, guests of friends, friends of guests and venue regulars soon were in on the match. Such was the pre-match banter I received a phone call from Andy Seery in the weeks running up to the match along the lines of “well I know you said that something was ‘on’ between a few of you but why am I getting phone calls booking in for this match.

In the end we settled on a three team match to ensure everyone was satisfied who wanted to attend, but keeping it in the original spirit of the intentions for meeting up. So it was, Total Fishing (and enough guests to make up a full 10 man team) v Stafford Moor residents and locals (and Andy Seery fishing a match on his own fishery for the first time since 2nd Jan 2004) v what seemed to be the whole of Cornwall. The match was to be held on the infamous 36 peg Tanners match lake, a fair venue where regulars feel you can win from any of at least 20 pegs, well how fair can that be.

 

Essential Supplies

Breakfast was organised at the local S + D Supplies store, a kind of Hardware, come Garden Centre, come Toy Shop, come everything else you might want many miles from what would loosely be termed civilisation. I sat by John Price whom I’d met at the Sunday open three days beforehand whilst keeping an eye out for someone who would look as I imagined Ben Field to be like. He never made breakfast preferring instead to driving around the country lanes of North Devon trying to locate the assembly point. Jerry Paris sat at the opposite end of the cafe not knowing what any one else in Total Fishing looked like. We didn’t recognise him he didn’t recognise us.

Everyone thought everyone else was the ‘opposition’ and kept their cards (and breakfast) close to their chests. Funny state of affairs.

Andy ran the draw from the shop, I waited ’til near the end so I could look down the list of TF.com members so I could see how we’d drawn and see if any extras turned up.

 

We’ll ‘ring’ you!

Andy had seen us proud with a few very good ringers put into our small team. In addition to our members and site regulars of Ben Field of Newquay, (who for some reason Andy had forgotten to record his peg number so I was still none the wiser), John Price of Plymouth, Rob Ankers of Exeter, Jerry Paris (no fixed abode), and myself, we’d ended up with Mike Hosgood (venue regular and top guy !), Eddie Stevenson current So Simple, Stafford Moor Sunday series leader (Pity we couldn’t have his son !!!!!), Pete Sivell (South West match correspondent for the Angling Times and a regular in the pages of the weekly and monthly angling publications due to his formidable history of match results in the SW region), Jason Barrett (venue regular who thinks a bad peg is one that he struggles to catch a ton from) and Tim Hagg, whom I know little about (sorry Tim).

Draw over we settle into our respective pegs eyeing up the opposition. I was on peg 33. I still had no idea of where Ben had drawn. I was ready early for a change, (these two hour prep times are brilliant) and went for a walk a few pegs down towards the hot pegs that I’d just missed out on in the draw and found a young chap with ‘Ben Field’ printed onto his tee shirt. A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse, ‘Ben’ I enquired ? Smack bang in the better pegs that I’d narrowly missed out on. Good.

In general I felt we’d drawn pretty well as one end of the Tanners does seem to dominate when the wind was in the direction that it was. We’d got as many of us in that end as anyone, game on.

 

From bad to worse

The match ………. well for me the least said about that the better. I’d drawn just off the better pegs in my area. A quick check of the Sunday open results before the match showed it was something like 120 lb. short of the better pegs from 34 – 36 to my right. I also had the company of Steve Forshaw, venue expert and winner of the last three Sunday opens on peg 32.

Nice guy but don’t turn you back on him when he’s got a feeder rod in his hands … (he should be known as ‘The dead maggot feeder Assassin’ !!!!). A start on the feeder looking for a mythical bar that seems to be present on pegs 34 – 36. I’d been told that I was either just off it, or on the tail of it, well all I could find was a shallower area from 35 yds. out to infinity so I picked a spot, clipped up and kept the feed going in. Well I caught the odd fish, enough to keep me interested in the match, at that stage I was keeping up with most people, but not catching quite as regularly as those on the better pegs to my right, nor Steve to my left.

Then he started to chuck to the back of the island that was a nice 30 – 35 yard cast from peg 8 on the opposite bank, (but more like 65 yards from us), and he steadily picked up a rhythm of putting fish in the net with increasing regularity. I caught a few fish on the pole but nothing to frighten anyone. We got the distinct impression that it wasn’t fishing quite as well as normal, but I’d still swap it for anywhere in the North West, even in that mood !

The guys to the right were about two or three fish ahead of me all the time although they were struggling to an extent as well. Graham Curnow, a Cornish acquaintance of Ben’s, on peg 36, (end peg flier) caught consistently on both the feeder and later on on the pole against the wooden bridge which separated Tanners, the match lake, from Beatties (the speci

lake) A well known fish holding spot.

 

Luke but not see

Through out the match I’d been able to see Jerry Paris (peg 7) and John Price (peg 3) catching well, as was Rob Ankers (on peg 9, who’d never seen the venue before) and our ringers Pete Sivell, bagging on peg 13 with Jason Barratt in hot pursuit on peg 11 (later to become my latest favourite peg on the venue with a 121 lb. residents match win). All was going well, or so we thought.

What I couldn’t see was Mike Hosgood not doing the demolition job I was to witness the following Saturday (in the process resetting the Tanners match record to an impressive 242 lb.), Andy Seery enjoying himself catching up in the water late on, (on scaled down gear 0.14 to an 18 or 16 and white hydro, different to the 0.17 Reflo 14’s and black hydro that I’d caught on on the first 1 ½ hr session the Saturday I’d arrived for 70 lb.) and most of the Cornish Raiders doing a professional job on their respective pegs.

What I definitely couldn’t see but had the benefit of a running commentary from Steve on the next peg was a 12 r old emptying peg 6 on the only gear he’d got… (a 7m pole) on the paste. He’d already got a reputation from banking 112 lb. in the Sunday open before my arrival. Some kid (as he’s not even a teenager yet !). Remember the name Luke Stevenson, you’ll hear it more often from now on.

 

Disaster

Well the match ended on a depressing note. The barbecue wouldn’t light!!!!! Andy had put apprentice ‘Ian’ in charge of its preparation, however he’d never lit one before. “Andy said just throw petrol on it!!!! So I didn’t think it was wise, so I didn’t,” was his excuse. Well perhaps he had a point, however as I later found out, at least it wasn’t lit when he would have done it, so it was mugging’s who had to throw petrol on it!!! The eventual fireball and smoke probably could be seen from either space or the Great Wall of China. At least I got it going.

 

The scores on the doors

Andy arrived back with the results, top individual on the day was Luke Stevenson (Cornwall ringer !!) with 165-6-0, second was Pete Sivell (Total Fishing ringer) 127-13-0, and third Jason Barrat (Total-Fishing other ringer) 110-8-0.

Total-Fishing (thanks to two local experts ton’s) hadn’t done too bad coming in second place with 617-15-0 ahead of Stafford Moor Select on 371-10-0 but the team winners on the day were the Cornish Raiders with 822-12-0. If we’d got Luke instead of ‘Dad’ Stevenson to fish for us we would have done it, it was that close!!!!!!

Thanks.

Many thanks to all those who attended the event, even tho’ it took on a rather more serious atmosphere than we’d originally intended.

Well perhaps that was inevitable when we’d got some of the cream of South West commercial angling present.

Everyone was happy with the day, the fishing, and the barbecue. On that note, many thanks to Andy Seery for putting his hand in his pocket, without question for the food, my wife and family for their efforts shopping for it and cooking, the South West Fire Brigade for their forbearance, and most importantly the TF regulars for their support.

I know all will be back.

 Well is Stafford Moor the best match venue around? It fished slightly below par for our mid summer match. Perhaps that was due to 31 of the 36 pegs on the lake being pegged. The following Saturday’s charity match which produced a new match record to Mike Hosgood at 242 lb. and the fourteen other ton plus weights spread over the two main match lakes used that day.

(Tanners and Woodpecker). Has Andy Seery yet again created the best venue in the South West????? Well we’ll have to go back again next year to see.  All welcome, by then we may have taught Ian to light the barbecue.

 

 

 

Results

Individuals on the day were;

1. ‘Young’ Luke Stevenson (pictured above Cornwall) 165-6-0,

2. Pete Sivell (Total-Fishing) 127-13-0,

3. Jason Barrat (Total-Fishing) 110-8-0,

4. Graham Curnow (Cornwall) 97-1-0,

5. Steve Forshaw (Stafford Moor) 92-0-0,

6. Jerry Paris (Total-Fishing) 84-6-0.

 

Total Fishing Team Results.

Peg 3, John Price, 79-10-0

Peg 7, Jerry Paris, 84-6-0

Peg 9, Rob Ankers, 53-7-0

Peg 11, Jason Barett, 110-8-0

Peg 13, Pete Sivell, 127-13-0

Peg 25, Tim Hagg, 51-1-0

Peg 26 Mike Hosgood 62-12-0

Peg 31 Eddie Stevenson 45-0-0

Peg 33 Graham Aveyard, 37-6-0

Peg 35, Ben Field, 43-15-0

 

Full Results, (just to see how Cornwall managed to sneak in a team of 11).

Peg 1, Mike Yates (Cornwall) 56-1-0

Peg 2, Brian Samuels (Cornwall) 80-4-0

Peg 3, John Price, (Total-Fishing.com) 79-10-0

Peg 4, Gordon Maers, (Cornwall) 57-0-0

Peg 5, Bob Smith, (Stafford Moor) 20-0-0

Peg 6, Luke Stevenson, (Cornwall) 165-6-0

Peg 7, Jerry Paris, (Total Fishing.com) 84-6-0

Peg 8, Nigel Sanders, (Cornwall) 45-1-0

Peg 9, Rob Ankers, (Total Fishing.com) 53-7-0

Peg 11, Jason Barett, (Total Fishing.com) 110-8-0

Peg 13, Pete Sivell, (Total Fishing.com) 127-13-0

Peg 14, Ken Cox, (Stafford Moor) 52-6-0

Peg 16, Lawrence Barnes, (Cornwall) 19-10-0

Peg 17, Mark Collaton, (Cornwall) 79-6-0

Peg 18, Terry Bewsley, (Stafford Moor) 25-0-0

Peg 20, Dave Barnes, (Cornwall) 41-0-0

Peg 21, Andy Seery, (Stafford Moor) 72-11-0

Peg 23, Tony Knight, (Stafford Moor) 7-6-0

Peg 24, Phil Watters, (Cornwall) 36-0-0

Peg 25, Tim Hagg, (Total Fishing.com) 51-1-0

Peg 26 Mike Hosgood (Total Fishing.com) 62-12-0

Peg 27, Dave Wykes (Stafford Moor) 23-10-0

Peg 28, Dennis Heaton, (Stafford Moor) 22-10-0

Peg 29, Mal King, (Stafford Moor) 43-8-0

Peg 30, Dave Smith, (Stafford Moor) 15-4-0

Peg 31 Eddie Stevenson (Total Fishing.com) 45-0-0

Peg 32, Steve Forshaw, (Stafford Moor) 92-0-0

Peg 33 Graham Aveyard, (Total Fishing.com) 37-6-0

Peg 34, Mark Leahy, (Cornwall) 50-4-0

Peg 35, Ben Field, (Total Fishing.com) 43-15-0

Peg 36, Graham Curnow, (Cornwall) 97-4-0

 

Graham Aveyard

 

A full picture report will be appearing on the club site at www.total-fishingclub.com

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