THEY say ‘its grim oop norf’, but for once the heavens ceased to open on a Total-fishing Woodlands match and we managed to remain about as dry as Stevie B’s net at the end of the day! The usual suspects were present at the draw, 38 in all, including Messrs Stavros, Scone, Numbnuts, Lester, Rik_1 and the resident Oaks and Cumbrian institutes. Lester seemed strangely subdued, perhaps that clout round the back of the head with my clipboard finally knocked some sense into him?


And so on to the fishing. Woodlands had been fishing well with numerous ton-up weights recorded, yet the cold temperatures of the previous day and night soon put paid to any chance of such weights. A strong wind was blowing directly down both lakes, making it apparent that a draw at the bottom end  in the teens and twenties would be a good one. And so it proved.


On Partridge lake, Ian ‘Xman’ Exley started off well on peg 4, displaying the necessary clown skills he uses in the circus with a lesson in juggling 2lb carp. Thankfully for Ian his quick scramble along the bank prevented the fish in question from a swift return to freedom, but it was funny nonetheless.  The wind changed direction slightly with two hours remaining, and Ian promptly stopped catching, giving the angler opposite (me!) a chance to catch up. Still he put a respectable 21-12-0 on the scales on what was a difficult end of the lake.


Matt Williams and Scone had an interesting peg to peg battle on pegs 7 and 8 respectively, with Matt eventually gaining the verdict by 10 ounces, with his 17-12-0 net. Much of Scone’s five hours however, was spent exchanging insults with some ‘Greek B*****’ opposite and Numbnuts on Skylark lake.  After a couple of low 20lbs, the weights gradually increased towards the windward end of the lake, and Craig Miller’s ‘negative’ tactics of maggot at 6m paid off as he conjured up a decent 30-4-0 effort, consisting of all sorts. The Polepot Neil McMurran on the next peg was not far adrift with 29-13-0, though he admits to copying Lester’s lead tactics for the day… and being bored Sh*tless!! For the section winner though we had to look to the end peg, Craig Singleton’s 38-6-0 was worth the customary £20.


AndyT on Partridge 20 was also getting on towards the 40lb mark, again a highly respectable bag of 39-12-0 from a fancied draw. Googly, next door, also broke 20lb. On peg 23 however, venue regular Steve ‘Daylite’ Rothery won the lake with an excellent 62-2-0, caught mainly shallow on meat, for a second-placed finish on the day. You know you’re on a shed full Steve, when you can catch that shallow in a near gale.. (only joking matey). On adjacent Partridge 24, a peg which incidentally carried a strong stench of strongbow, was some Welsh exile sat on a curious rotating drum kit with ‘LMFAO MATCH TEAM’ scrawled on the back. The infamous Lester Jones had arrived in Yorkshire- lock up your sheep. Lester has the straight lead method pioneered by Giles Cochrane down to a tee, and his confident one-rod approach saw him land 56-8-0 of carp and the bronze medal on the day (though arguably the Gold medal in the idiot Olympics).


Lester’s travelling partner, Rik ‘Ginger Minger’ _1 could only muster 23-12-0 from what was a good draw on the day (Partridge 26), and admitted to over-feeding his swim. The fact that the lead-launching internet menace on the next peg was bagging did not exactly help. Rik’s excuse was one of the better ones on the day… that the glare from the sun catching ‘Scone’s bonse’ opposite was severely effecting his vision!  Stavros, amidst the abuse from Scone, managed to catch just 8-4-0 but was reluctantly dragged, with his net, to the scales to confirm a few quid side bets.


Gareth ‘Marcochef’ Drury obtained his two-part username from

a) Being a dead ringer for that squealing Big Brother puffter of last year.

b) Frying up the dodgy burgers at the Oaks Lakes on Sunday Mornings.

Partridge 30 isn’t a prolific area, so Gareth actually did rather well to pull himself away from a girly gossip with Nadia and Emma and gain a section win (by double default) with a 47-8-0 bag.


At the top end of the lake, Scoobs and myself weren’t on the best of pegs with the wind off our backs for much of the match. My bait allocation for the day consisted of four and a half pints of luncheon meat and half a pint of hemp, and the match didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts after, having spent several minutes eyeing up my bait tray, the rocket scientist that is Scoobs eventually concluded “So you’ll be fishing meat today then Fisky?”. Scoobs stormed into an early lead with a brace of tench, whilst I sat without an indication for an hour. However a healthy 6-7lb mirror mugged shallow soon turned the tables, but unfortunately it was only a cruiser, passing by on its way to Daylite’s swim. Sport was painfully slow and by 2pm I was on plan F or something to that effect, at the full16m, whilst Scoobs was still on plan A- a pole at 11m and a gnome impression. Once the wind died down and started blowing slightly towards our bank (though be it still down the lake) a few fish started to show, and by 3.50pm I had managed another 4 of them along with a tench and a couple of useful skimmers. Scoobs was on 2 or 3 carp. I thought I was on a par with Xman opposite who had ceased to catch  hours ago, and so came the decisive moment: My margin rig was brought into action and dropped into place 13 metres along and three metres in front of the next vacant pallet (I had earlier tried it with only a roach to show for my efforts). After two or three minutes, the bristle sunk from view and metres and metres of black hydro were ripped viciously from the pole. Then suddenly, from facing directly up the bank towards peg 34, I have spun nearly 180 degrees and am watching this BEAST making a beeline for Scoobs’ rig 11 metres out in peg 32. Now clearly common sense is not a feature of the Cumbrian breed (either that or Scoobs is a lazy tw*t) and so the rig remained in the water, oblivious to the black hydro zipping past just a few centimetres further out. The inevitable tangle occurred. I’m sure Scoobs was trying more to shake the fish off my hook, rather than his rig, when he eventually secured enough energy to lift his pole. But alas… his rig soon came adrift, and I was free to play the fish out back in my own swim, despite the Cumbrian one cursing something about taking the whole affair to ‘Judge Judy’ !! The resultant 8-9lb mirror, hooked in the pectoral fin, looked rather amused in the bottom of my landing net. Scoobs weighed 13-12-0, and my little lot went 28-4-0.


Onto Skylark and Pete ‘Respect’ Richmond had a great weight of 49-0-0 for his end of the lake, mainly taken shallow. Now I believe down sarf the Maggotdrowners have this fellow Malc who is supposed to have some kind of jinxing effect on his fellow anglers. Well, surely Ian Exley is the northern equivalent- Pete hooked a decent fish and was busy playing it on the top 4 with his white hydro considerably stretched, when Ian shouted something over. Pete turned round to reply, and when he turned back the fish had taken his whole rig and was gone!


Dave Watson further along on peg 7 had a difficult day, ending up with 21-0-0. However this was far too good for the proceeding two founding members of the Cumbrian, grey-haired, aged,  mentally-challenged asylum. Peg 9. Sterland. 3-12-0. Peg 10. Penfold. 9-4-0. Hardly net-bursting stuff. But in fairness, where they hail from a lone gudgeon is a good result in a match.


Numbnuts’ 45-0-0 was worth its weight in pound coins, and took the section by default. He nearly left without his winnings as well, but stopped his van just in time to collect them, even taking the trouble to get out and rub it in Scone’s face. An angry Scone then chased Numbnuts’ and Stavros’ van out of Woodlands in the pink car, and I got a distinct feeling that there would be an epic cat and mouse pursuit all the way back down the A1 to Sheffield.


We had to look no further than the windward end peg of this bank though to find our winner. Paul ‘Baby face’ Howard alternated between up in the water and deck pole lines with meat and pellet, as well as a bomb cast to the boards, to amass an excellent 71-10-0 on a difficult day. In the opposite corner of the lake, Mark Mason had a defaulted section winning 41-10-0 from peg 19, narrowly beating local ringer Pete Wright by 14 ounces. Kev ‘Sneaky’ Hartley was without the company of the short ‘shorts’ one, and as a consequence could only manage 24-6-0, in what was a consistent area of Skylark lake. Greg ‘Slow’ Norris AKA Beanpole is another venue regular and member of the Daylite baits crew, and he didn’t let the side down by catching on meat shallow, on his way to a fourth-placed 52-15-0 finish. The rest of this bank was poor, with three DNW’s recorded including StevieB (ha ha ha!) and MMA. Baz H, founder of the Oaks TF rebellion proboards forum, was the only other notable weigher with a 17-0-0 score.



  1. Paul ‘Baby Face’ Howard 71-10-0; Skylark 15.
  2. Steve ‘Daylite’ Rothery 62-6-0; Partridge 23.
  3. Lester ‘Dafydd’ Jones 56-8-0; Partridge 24.
  4. Greg ‘Slow’ Norris 52-15-0; Skylark 23.
  5. Pete ‘Respect’ Richmond 49-0-0; Skylark 4.
  7. Gareth ‘I love Nadia’ Drury 47-8-0; Partridge 30 (Section by default).
  8. Lee ‘Numbnuts’ Blagden 45-0-0; Skylark 12 (Section by default).
  9. Mark Mason 41-10-0; Skylark 19 (Section by default).
  10. Pete Wright 40-12-0; Skylark 20.
  11. Andy Toplis 39-12-0; Partridge 20.
  12. Craig ‘O’ Singleton 38-6-0; Partridge 17 (Section win).
  13. Craig ‘Maggot’ Miller 30-4-0; Partridge 13. 
  14. Neil ‘Polepot’ McMurran 29-13-0; Partridge 14.
  15. Ben ‘Foul hook’ Fisk 28-4-0; Partridge 33.
  16. Baz Broad 25-10-0; Partridge 16.
  17. Kev ‘The Sneak’  Hartley 24-6-0; Skylark 22
  18. Rik ‘Ginger Minger’ Webb 23-12-0; Partridge 26.
  19. Ivan Widdows; 23-6-0; Partridge 10.
  20. Mike ‘Un’ shaw; 22-0-0; Skylark 13.
  21. Ian ‘Butter-Fingers’ Exley 21-12-0; Partridge 4.
  22. Colin Wilby 21-8-0; Partridge 11.
  23. Dave Watson 21-0-0; Skylark 7.
  24. Kev ‘Googly’ Drury 20-14-0; Partridge 21.
  25. Matt Williams 17-12-0; Partridge 7.
  26. The ‘Hard boiled’ Scone 17-2-0; Partridge 8.
  27. Baz Harrington 17-0-0; Skylark 32.
  28. Rob Thurlwell 16-0-0; Skylark 25.
  29. Chris Scott 14-0-0; Partridge 29.
  30. Scoobs 13-12-0; Partridge 32.
  31. Kevin ‘Duffus’ Penfold 9-4-0; Skylark 10.
  32. Jonny Stavros’ Clegg 8-4-0; Partridge 27.
  33. Roger Prior 6-12-0; Partridge 5.
  34. Mike ‘U G L Y’ Sterland 3-12-0; Skylark 9.
  35. Matt Prior; Skylark 3.
    Pete Jarvis; Skylark 6.
    Martin ‘MMA’ Holmes; Skylark 26.
    Mick Webb; Skylark 28.
    Stevie ‘Chav’ Broadbent; Skylark 31.
  36. ALL DNW.


Thanks go to Dave Watson and Rob Thurlwell for weighing everybody in. Also Pete Jarvis from Elton Tackle for sorting the pegs out.


Finally, time for a certain L Jones to eat a few of his own famous words from the TF banter in the run up to this match:


Classic quote number 1: “I’m going to win this match”. No Lester, you could only manage third!

Classic quote number 2: “You (Fisky) can’t win at the Willows”. A weight of 116lb last Saturday says ‘Yes I can!’


You’ll never make a mystic meg Fester… only a cryptic peg.

Thanks to all those that turned up and see you all in August, all being well.