Southdown Angling Association East Sussex Angling at its best
Southdown Angling Association East Sussex Angling at its best


Sunday 9th March 2014. Bill Walder Trophy

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

What a lovely day to fish the final match of this season. Clear Blue sky, a light upstream breeze and the temperature up to 17 degrees. The Haven looked great too, with plenty of colour and a good 2 feet of extra depth from its level of a fortnight ago.
17 competitors fished the match and taking top spot on the day was Steve Brown who fished the whip and caught a lovely Tench of 4lbs 14oz plus a small Perch to finish with 5lbs dead.
Peter Gabbittas also used the whip to catch 3lbs 6oz of small Roach and Skimmers to claim second spot. In third place was Chris Copeland who fished the waggler to land 2lbs 11oz of small Roach.
On such a perfect day weather wise, it was a great pity that the fishing was hard all the way along the match section, with many competitors struggling to attract the odd bite.

Sunday 2nd March 2014. Away Match v Isfield

 Venue: Mill Pond, Horsted Keynes

With tales of Bream up to 7lbs and Carp to 30lbs at this venue, 10 club members made the journey into West Sussex. The weather on the day could have been kinder for those taking part, as a very chilly and strong wind blew across the lake from right to left, with just the odd glimpse of sunshine here and there.
Most competitors struggled for any sort of bite and out of a field of 20 only 8 caught fish.

Top weight on the day by an Isfield angler was 44lbs. Southdown’s Michael Wood came second with 8 Bream for 33lbs caught using a quivertip with a method feeder and small boily hookbaits. Tim Crowdy of Southdown caught 4 Bream late on, casting to the middle of the lake with the method feeder and dead maggots as hook bait to claim fourth place with 16lbs.
A very lovely venue that is generally capable of producing much more. On this occasion, the bream were hard to find, but those who caught were rewarded with some cracking fish.

Sunday 23rd February 2014. 4th and Final Round Percy Barron Trophy

 Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

This match was originally scheduled to take place on the Pevensey Haven but with a low water level and recent competitions seeing very few fish being caught, it was decided by Match Secretary Steve Izzard and those taking part, to switch it to Middle Bridge, as apart from last Sunday, this stretch of the Wallers Haven had been fishing well recently.

Although it was a windy day, conditions were favourable with the Haven having a slight flow and still holding plenty of colour and depth.
The match was won by Chris Copeland from peg 10 with a weight of 5lbs 14oz. Fishing the waggler just off the bottom and alternating between big maggot and pinkie as hook bait, Chris caught small roach and skimmers plus a bonus jack pike of about 2lbs.
Next door at peg 11 was Tim Crowdy, who caught two nice perch on the feeder using worm as bait, plus small roach on the pole, to claim second with 2lbs 4oz, and Michael Wood secured third place fishing the pole at 12 metres to land 1lbs 14oz of roach.
The fishing was patchy along the whole length, with some anglers struggling for the odd bite, but with the season rapidly coming to a close, we are set for a large turnout here for the final match of the season, for the Bill Walder Trophy on March 9th.

Sunday 16th February 2014. Pairs Match

 Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

After an awful week of bad weather, competitors in the Annual Pairs Match were pleased to be greeted by a really pleasant morning with clear blue skies, bags of sunshine, a light breeze and feeling mild for the time of year.
Although the weather was good, the fishing turned out to be tough going, the Haven carrying at least a foot of extra water, plus lots of colour and a fast flow.
As last year, the top pair on the day were Peter Gabbitas and Chris Copeland, with a combined weight of 5lbs 15oz. Peter opted to fish the pole with pinkie on the hook to win the match overall with 3lbs 4oz of small Roach plus a Bream caught on the feeder very late on. His partner came second fishing the waggler a foot over depth with big maggot as bait, to catch 2lbs 11oz of small skimmers and roach. Steve Ramsden secured third with 1lb 6oz, again caught on the pole. The Haven flowed on and off all day and the majority of bites came during the periods of flow.
Although it was tough going it was very pleasing that the match was fishable at all. Twenty four hours earlier the river had been six inches from the top of the bank with a serious amount of flow. We are now looking forward to some improvement in the conditions for the final round of the Percy Baron Trophy next week.


Sunday 9th February 2014. 3rd Round Percy Barron Trophy

 Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge, Upstream

The heavy rain of the past seven days had left the Haven carrying a foot or so of extra water, with plenty of colour and a fast flow to say the least. Needless to say, conditions for the competitors were not ideal, but at least the gale force winds of Saturday had died down a bit. Fishing Peg 2, using the pole with pinkie bait, Peter Gabbitas managed to find some fish close in for a winning weight of 1lb 3oz. With three rounds gone and only one still to fish, he leads in the Percy Baron Trophy by 4 points. Fishing on peg 1 and therefore closest to the bridge was Tim Crowdy who also used pole and pinkie to claim second with just 5 oz. Malcolm Falkner secured third from peg 4 finishing with three fish for 3oz.
More heavy rain and gales are forecast for the week ahead, so conditions for the pairs match at Middle Bridge on the 16th are also likely to present problems for the competitors. Strange as it may seem however, we are all looking forward to it.


Sunday 2nd February 2014. Away v Isfield A.C.

 Venue: Wilderness Middle Lake, East Grinstead

Considering the recent weather the competition was fished in reasonable conditions with sunny spells, the odd very heavy shower and a moderate wind.
Southdown won the match by having members in the top three positions, all employing method feeder tactics. Michael Wood topped the pile with a weight of 19lbs 9oz made up of 13 carp, alternating between bread and maggot on the hook. Peter Gabbitas claimed second with 14lbs of carp comprising 8 fish and close behind in third was Trevor Hoad again with maggot on the hook, catching 9 carp for 13lbs 12oz.

Sunday 26th January 2014.

2nd Round Percy Barron Trophy

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge

Another Sunday and another win for Peter Gabbitas !
The match was originally scheduled for the downstream section but due to gale force winds and heavy rain, Match Secretary Steve Izzard made the wise decision to fish the match upstream of the bridge. Although the conditions upstream were more comfortable, the fishing was poor.
In the relentless side on rain which swept across the Haven, Peter fished the pole with pinkie as bait and loose feed to clinch victory from his second home this season, having again drawn peg 1, with just 15oz of small roach. On peg 2 Tim Crowdy used the same tactics to finish just behind with 131/2 oz and fishing the waggler on peg 3, Chris Copeland snatched third with just 7oz. With two rounds gone and two still to fish, Peter leads the series by 3 points.
Please take care at the moment as bank side conditions are not easy, the heavy rain of the past month or so has made all the banks very slippery.


Sunday 19th January 2014. Club Match

Venue: North Farm Pool, Marle Green

This match was held at the very picturesque Marle Green lake on a very pleasant January day, with a light wind and bags of sunshine, so all competitors were expecting a good days fishing, but it didn't quite work out that way.
However, Tim Crowdy fishing from peg 2 did enjoy himself, winning the match with 3 carp for 16lbs 2oz. Tim used sweet corn on the hook and as loose feed and fished the pole.

On peg 1, Dick Griffin also used the pole with corn to catch 3 carp although Dick's were smaller and his 7lbs 7oz was certainly enough for second place. On the other side of the lake, right opposite Dick, was Malcolm Faulkner, who caught one small carp and a couple of small roach to clinch third place with 1lb 12oz. All others taking part struggled for any sort of bite, and the silverfish weights were very low indeed.

Sunday 12th January 2014.

1st Round Percy Barron Trophy

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

The fine form shown by Peter Gabbitas this season continued when he claimed victory in the first round of the Percy Baron Trophy fished upstream of Middle bridge on the Wallers Haven.
After heavy rain the day before, the competitors were greeted by a high and flowing river with plenty of colour. Although the day started with a thick frost and remained cloudy and cold all day, the fishing can only be described as hot !
Peter chose to fish the whip at 4 metres using Pinkie as bait and loose feed and caught consistently during the five hours to finish with 8lbs 2oz of small skimmer bream and roach from peg 6. He found himself in a very close battle with Peter Easton who drew peg 3 and used similar tactics on the whip, finishing very close behind with 8lbs exactly, made up mainly of small roach.

Tim Crowdy was next door for the day on peg 4 and finished with 6lbs 13oz, again caught on the whip. The whole match section fished well with a number of weights over 6lbs. With the weather due to settle over the next couple of weeks we look forward to a close tussle in the next round as well.


Sunday 5th January 2014. 3rd Round Xmas Cup & New Year Challenge

 Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge

Due to the postponement of the third round of the Christmas Cup due to bad weather and bank conditions on 22nd December, it was decided to fish the match in January and combine it with the New Years Challenge. The venue was again the Wallers Haven, Ironbridge, upstream and conditions on the day were not great, with a gusty wind and high, flowing and very coloured water.
For the first 20 minutes or so, bites were hard to come by, then the odd roach and small skimmer bream started to show. Chris Copeland won the match from peg 10, with 4lbs 13oz, caught using the waggler with pinkie loose fed and on the hook. Trevor Hoad had small roach on the pole to finish second with 3lbs 1oz and Peter Gabbitas, who wasn't for a change fishing from peg 1, came in third by using a combination of pole and whip for a weight of 2lbs 11oz. Most competitors caught their fish when the river was flowing, when it stopped for a while mid match, bites became very slow.
At last, if the forecasts are to be believed, it seems the weather is due to settle from midweek, so conditions for the Percy Baron first round at Middle Bridge next Sunday could be perfect.


Sunday 29th December 2013. 3rd Round Waggler Only

 Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge

After the very heavy rain over the Christmas period and the postponement of the Christmas Cup third round the week before, the final round of the Waggler Only match series looked in jeopardy. However when competitors viewed the river it was deemed to be fishable upstream of the bridge. The Wallers had plenty of colour and certainly plenty of flow and with low tide scheduled for about 2pm, the thoughts were that it would flow and get faster during the day. Most anglers decided to fish methods other than the waggler due to the flow. Peter Gabbitas yet again drew peg 1 for the fourth week running ! and chose to fish a combination of pole and whip, winning the match catching small roach and skimmer bream for 7lbs 3oz.

In second place was Chris Copeland, who did fish with a waggler and caught small roach and perch to finish close behind with 6lbs 13oz 8drms. Grenville Weston managed third with 3lbs 14oz, again fishing the pole.
Although the flow was a slight problem, all those taking part caught, by fishing either the pole/whip/feeder or waggler.


Sunday 15th December 2013. 2nd Xmas Cup

 Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge
The second round of the Christmas Cup at Middle Bridge turned out to be so much better than the first. The Wallers Haven had plenty of colour and reasonable flow, although the strong wind and rain made things uncomfortable from time to time but the fishing was good.
Peter Gabbitas drew peg 1 for the third match running and made the most of it, catching small roach and skimmer bream on the whip for a winning weight of 9lb 0oz and he had almost 60 fish in the net before anglers further along the straight started to catch. 4lbs 7oz was enough to give Trevor White second place, also catching roach and skimmers on the whip, while Chris Copeland fished the waggler to come third with 3lbs 10oz. After a slow first hour for everyone apart from Peter, bites were plentiful and all competitors weighed in reasonable amounts.


Sunday 8th December 2013. 1st Xmas Cup

 Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge
The Annual Christmas Cup is always eagerly awaited and this year was no exception. Nineteen competitors turned out for the match which was held on the upstream section at Ironbridge on the Wallers Haven. For the time of the year the weather was good, just a gentle breeze, mild with plenty of sunny spells, but the fishing however was anything but.

Peter Gabbitas and Patrick Newman shared top spot each with 7lbs 6oz, Peter’s catch from peg 1 consisting of small roach and skimmer bream, plus a small pike. Patrick fished the feeder at peg 6, to catch two small pike and a perch. In second place was Paul Kitcher who also caught a pike plus a couple of roach to finish with 3lbs 1oz and Brian Nesbit secured third using the pole to catch small roach for 1lb 8oz. Everyone else struggled for the odd bite and unfortunately for five anglers the day finished blank. We all hoped the weather would hold and that the fishing would be better in round two the following Sunday.


Sunday 14th November 2013. Away v Clive Vale & Rye

Venue: River Rother, Blackwall

The Annual F. Glazier Memorial Match was fished on the Blackwall section of The River Rother.

On the day, the river level was a good foot or so less than normal for this time of year, however the depth was still near to 10 feet in places. Water conditions and weather seemed perfect with a good colour and gentle downstream flow, just a light breeze, overcast and reasonably mild. A good day was anticipated, but as we know only too well, fishing doesn't always turn out that way and for many competitors, bites were hard to come by, especially for the pegs farthest away from the bridge, with just the odd Roach or Perch showing.

Winner for Clive Vale on the day, was Tim Relf with 5lb 7oz caught using a pole. Chris Copeland placed second for Southdown fishing a waggler with maggot and loose fed hemp, to catch Roach and Perch for 4lb 10oz. Patrick Newman clinched third for Southdown with 4lb 6oz again fishing the pole. Pat fished peg number 4, which was located in the first field near the bridge, anglers fishing this stretch suffered from the activities of a Pike, well that was their excuse anyway! Southdown's Ian Wicks was fourth with 3lb 12oz including the heaviest fish of the day, a Bream of 1lb 12oz and as a result, Southdown were victorious by having three anglers in the top four places.


Sunday 10th November 2013. Away v Isfield A.C.

Venue: Wilderness Main & Middle Lakes, East Grinstead

Main lake: 1st Peter Gabbitas (Southdown) with 36lb14oz, all carp to 3lb on the method feeder. 2nd Andy Maitland (Isfield) 27lb 0oz & third Ian Wicks (Southdown) with 17lb 4oz.

Middle Lake: Isfield members 1st & 2nd with 34lb 0oz & 32lb 0oz respectively and 3rd, John Cole (Southdown) with 27lb 8oz (including a carp of 14lb 8oz) using a pole.


Sunday 3rd November 2013. 2nd Round, Waggler Only

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

The upstream section of the Haven was the venue for second round of the waggler only trophy. Recent heavy rains had left the river higher and more coloured than normal, and bites were hard to come by. The competitors were not helped on the day either, by a strong south westerly wind. Most matches this season on this section have been won by competitors fishing towards the end of the first straight, and this was again the case this time.

Tim Crowdey won with some big Skimmers to finish with 7lb 6oz. Pegged next to Tim was Sedley Underdown to claim second with 5lb 11oz of roach and skimmers and Grenville Weston managed 2lb 15oz of small roach and skimmers from peg three to secure third place.


Sunday 27th October 2013. Marsh Shield, 4th Round

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

Gale force winds & heavy showers greeted the competitors fishing the fourth round of the Marsh Shield on the Wallers Haven at Boreham Street.

Surprisingly after a large amount of rain in the days leading up to the competition, the river had an ideal autumn level, a good colour, & bites were plentiful.
Chris Copeland won the match fishing the waggler to catch small Roach & Rudd to finish with 6lb 7oz. Steve Ramsden fished the pole to claim second with 4lb 6oz, just enough to beat his father Dennis, who secured third spot with 4lb 1oz.


Sunday 20th October 2013. Cuckmere Cup, 2nd Round

Venue: River Cuckmere, Shermans Bridge, Upstream

The second round of the Cuckmere cup was held on the upstream section at Shermans Bridge. Peter Gabbitas caught a specimen Bream of 5lb 6oz along with small Roach & Rudd for a winning weight of 7lb 6oz. In second place fishing the pole was Fred Clews who managed 3lb 8oz of Roach, Rudd & Perch. Close behind in third with 3lb 4oz was Chris Copeland.


Sunday 8th September 2013. Roger Weston Memorial

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge, Upstream

Tim Crowdey prevailed in this year's annual charity match for the Roger Weston Memorial Trophy. The venue at Iron Bridge was showing some signs of improvement after a slow summer. Tim managed a level 5lbs of skimmers, roach and a few perch from the straight below the bridge. Second was Steve Honeyball with 4lb 10oz, followed by Peter Gabbitas with 4lb 5oz, including a fine perch of 1lb 12oz. Denis Ramsden and Chris Copeland completed the frame with 3lb 11oz and 3lb 6oz respectively. The event raised £115 for the Mind charity nominated by winner Tim. Thank you to all those who participated, donated raffle prizes and helped with the arrangements.


Sunday 11th August 2013. Away v Isfield A.C.

Venue: Wilderness Main Lake, East Grinstead

Results: 1st. S Mahkonen (Isfield) 43lb 10oz. 2nd. G Sachi (Isfield) 38lb 8oz.

3rd. M Wood (SAA) 33lb 2oz. Equal 4th. John Cole (SAA) & P Gabbitas (SAA) each with 29lb 4oz. All fished the method feeder, using corn, pellet or boilies. Some skimmer bream were caught but bags were mostly small carp around the 1.5 to 2 lb mark. The best place to be pegged was the area before the viaduct. The weights were down a bit on last year's event but overall not a bad match with around 20 fishing.


Friday 28th/Saturday 29th June 2013. Night Match

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge, Upstream

The Annual Night Match turned out to be very tough going. The draw took place at 7pm & the competition ran from 8pm Friday to 8am Saturday, a long time when the fishing is a bit slow.
Although conditions seemed ideal, with plenty of colour to the river, weather wise mild & cloudy with a light breeze, bites during the darkness hours were pretty much none existent. Peter Gabbitas managed to find a 3lbs plus bream, an eel & a couple of small roach to win with 5lbs 3oz. Chris Copeland caught small Skimmers & roach for 4lbs 5oz to take second & Patrick Newman came third with eels & a couple of small skimmers to finish with 3lbs 15oz.


Monday 17th June 2013. 1st Evening Cup

Venue: Marle Green

On a breezy, chilly June evening the fishing again proved to be tough going. Tim Crowdy caught net size skimmers and roach from the off, fishing the pole with maggot winning with 9lb 7oz. Chris Copeland came second fishing the waggler with 3lbs 7oz, his evening starting slowly with just a couple of roach in the first hour but net skimmers and a small tench turned up later. Third with 3lbs 2oz, again fishing the pole was Grenville Weston.


Sunday 16th June 2013. Southdown Challenge

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

The start of the new season kicked off in the traditional way with the Southdown Challenge.

Thankfully the strong wind of Saturday had subsided leaving a cloudy, mild day with just a light breeze. The Wallers looked great with a reasonable colour and a good summer depth, the fishing however proved to be tough going for most competitors.
Michael Wood had a bad start to the day, realising when he arrived that his wellies had not arrived with him! A quick trip home and back meant a slight delay to the start of the match, Michael's day improved however, with victory in the competition with 13lbs 11oz, a mixture of skimmers and roach. Michael fished the pole at 11.5metres with maggot bait and also the feeder from time to time with double maggot.
Tim Crowdy placed second using the waggler with maggot, to finish with 4lbs 14oz and close behind in third place with 4lbs 13oz was Chris Copeland who also fished the waggler.


Sunday 19th May 2013. Club Competition

Venue: North Farm Pool, Marle Green

19 members fished & although the day itself was reasonably warm, the north easterly breeze made bites hard to come by. The top 3 however were all fairly close.

Trevor White managed to find some skimmer bream & small Roach on peg 1 & won the competition with a weight of 6lb 12oz. Trevor fished the pole with maggot bait. Close behind fishing at peg 4 was Michael Wood, with 6lb 7oz, again using the pole with maggot, while Sedley Underdown claimed third place from peg 16, with 5lb 15oz, consisting of a mixed bag of skimmers, perch & small roach, again caught on the pole. A number of carp were hooked & lost, Peter Easton did manage to land one, which was close to 10lb, but in competitions at this venue, carp only count as 1lb regardless of their actual weight. Some tench also showed & they are putting on weight nicely.


Sunday 5th May 2013. Club Match

Venue: Curls Farm

In bright conditions the fishing was good. Using the method feeder with corn, Peter Gabbitas caught 15 Carp and a Tench for a winning weight of 62lb 0oz. Patrick Newman used the same tactics to secure second with 41lb 4oz and in third, with a weight of 30lb 14oz, was Graham Shrinkfield who fished with both pole and feeder.


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© Jonathan Cook