Total Fishing Spalding Town Welland meet


By Mick Parkinson (yes that’s Neil’s lad)


WHAT originally started out as being a pairs match ended up being a small knock-up between friends from the TF site.
Did the low number of anglers that showed up mean a bad day……definitely not, because we were to fish the winter roach anglers’ paradise, the
welland in the town of Spalding, Lincolnshire
With weights of up to 28lb of roach winning in previous weeks, AND 10lb+ being an average weight in the charity pairs match just after Christmas, with around 100 anglers fishing, it’s top class sport. Last week though I was a getting a little worried, the matches before last weekend on the narrow river had been great, but last weekend was a bit ‘orrible! Only 5lb won a knock-up there last Sunday 29th of February.

Was it the cold weather or had the migrating roach started to move back out of the town stretch and back into the middle reaches of the Welland?
Had the lack of colour made the roach more difficult to catch? Doubtful, as when the roach moved in around November, it was gin clear then and 20lb was winning the club matches.
I was thinking should we cancel, or warn others about the low weights the week before? What do you do? What you do most weekends! Have a bit of fun and just get out there and have a go!
So eight turned up, out of a planned 25 or so, this made the plans for the pairs match seem silly so we all agreed, pay top three.
So Symon had pegged it out, peg 1 was in front of the poacher, peg 8 was the second peg down from the tax office bridge.
Now peg 1 has seen some tremendous sport being the peg that won the charity pairs match at Christmas, with my father, Neil Parkinson being the man on the day with 28lb, beating Bob Nudd off the peg upstream of him who had 27lb, quite an exciting weigh-in that day too!
So I was looking forward to fishing that one when I drew it out and it was end peg as well this time. Then we had peg 6 drawn by ‘Crusty’, another good peg, which has often won or framed in matches as you tend to have a long peg.
It would be the last one on the grass bank before the tax office bridge and the next peg would be the other side, starting again on the grass bank.
So you kind of miss out 2 or 3 pegs because of the small space between angler and the footpath and this makes for peg 6 being a good draw.
Then again the tax office bridge itself can sometimes be a good draw. Kev drew this peg and while looking off the bridge found it to be absolutely stuffed with fish.
The nearly gin-clear water showed roach spreading across from say 5m out to 9m and the water was ‘black’ from the dense shoals of fish, as far as you could see.
So my worries of the fish moving out had gone as the roach usually towards the back end of the season and it did indeed look like we could have a good day after all.
Symon was first to hook a fish, before the whistle – on a bare hook! I wasn’t surprised, as Symon has been telling me of his trips to Barford Lakes and the big grizzely fish there, so I thought maybe he was using one of his size 2/0 ‘bear’ hooks. How he would hook tiny hemp seeds on em I don’t know, I dare not ask!
Meanwhile Lee Pullen was doing his best to make his peg resemble the office like pegs he is used to on commercials and organised his gear on the large rocks in a very cautious manner. They can be tricky at times them rocks and you really need to make sure your box or platform legs are wound down tight, one slip and its literally ‘kerplunk’ and you’ve messed up the inside line.

So the match began, most seemed to start catching small fish close in, or to the middle straight away. I sat there and tried my best to use the rolled bread I prepared in the morning, unfortunately it was the only bread in the house and it was thick sliced. Would it come out of the punch, would it hell!
A quick walk up to my best mate Dave aka ‘Riverhead’ on the next peg and I scrounged some proper bread for punch fishing.
It was only fair to give the others a head start, especially the ones that had travelled so far…..mmmmm! Back to my peg and using the bread he gave me, I started to catch, but Dave was doing it faster.
I do wish they could make poles quieter, for I got a stiff neck every time I heard Dave’s pole ‘woosh’ backwards and looked round to see another small roach being swing in.
I needed to catch him up and decided to try the hemp. I’d cupped in the hemp about two thirds over and they were having it, but not as fast as what Dave was catching. There were not much bigger either, yet when the hemp head is put on its hard to get off again and that’s where I stopped for the rest of the match, getting the occasional 6oz fish.
What struck me as being a bit strange was the sight of the fella next to Dave catching steady too, fishing the whip and doing a pretty good job too.
After having a closer look, he was wearing ‘Stevie Wonders’ glasses too, an amazing feat, he must have been feeling the vibrations of the bites, because surely he couldn’t of seen the bites with those specs on.
An even closer look revealed it to be flat bank specialist Lee Pullen, shocking! Lee catching roach and keeping up with the others, I wonder if it was anything to do with the £1 bet I had with him that he would get battered both sides and they each would double his weight. He was in overdrive, he he he.

Next peg along though I noticed some better fish being swung in by Rob Court, was he fishing punch or hemp? Everyone seemed to be doing ok and having a right busy time, worries over! So half way through the match decided to go and do the ugly mug shot thing and take a few pictures for the site and for evidence of Lee catching ROACH!

To be honest I thought all was going well until Symon started walking up the bank towards us and stated he hadn’t caught for quite sometime.
This sometimes happens in the clearer water and there is not a lot you can do about it, apart from walk the bank and look at who is catching and that was easy as everyone else was catching, bad luck mate! Still he made the most of it and had a chat with some of the others from the site and put names to faces, which is always the best bit of these meet-ups, never myself met a bad one yet!

So when the weigh-in came round it was interesting to hear people’s predictions of what they thought they had got in the net.

Some said over 10lb, some under. I played it safe and said I didn’t have a clue (yes we know about that kind of angler ed)! Which was the truth (your nose is growing…).

I keep starting off counting how many fish I have to get a rough idea and then end up forgetting where I was, after about five.

It’s difficult you see, as when I’ve finished counting on one hand, I have to wait for the other hand to be ready, as its always behind my finger, which is more often than not, up my nose or somewhere else it should’nt be.

The results on the day were:

    1             MICK PARKINSON                                   7lb  10oz
    2             DAVE CORCORAN                                   8lb   5oz
    3             LEE PULLEN                                             7lb   0oz
    4             ROB COULT                                            15lb   5oz
    5             PETE PALMER                                          6lb   2oz
    6             KEITH TAYLOR                                       13lb  13oz
    7             KEV WARRILOW                                      7lb  10oz
    8             SYMON SPINKS                                       4lb  10oz


                                          1st          ROB COULT
                                          2nd         KIETH TAYLOR
                                          3rd          DAVE CORCORAN


Well done Rob and the others, it was a very nice day, the weather couldn’t of been much better and despite the low turnout it ended up being a good day’s fishing and a laugh too.
I’m thinking of doing something in the summer when the wide
Welland starts fishing well and another match in the winter, more closer to Christmas and the bigger bags of roach on the town stretch again, so stay tuned.

Thanks again to all

Look forward to seeing you all soon



Pics from the meet are on the club site