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

Match Reports 2016/2017

Sunday 12th March 2017, Bill Walder Trophy

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

So the sad day arrived, the last match of the river season. Mind you, at least the weather was kind, just a light breeze, mild too, with just the odd bit if light rain from time to time.

Although the Haven held a good depth and colour there was little in the way of flow.

Fishing at peg 8, which is the last swim on the first straight, Gary Flint targeted the tench and was rewarded with two red eyed beauties within the first hour, much to the dismay of everyone else. The game was certainly on and he went on to win the match with a further tench added whilst the final whistle blew, his winning weight being 11lbs 14oz, all the fish falling to pole and worm tactics fished close in.

Apart from a quick look on the feeder (coffee time!), Chris Copeland splashed the waggler around all day at peg 9 and caught two large skimmers and some fine roach to claim second  spot with 7lbs 12oz. Peter Easton at peg 10 worked hard on the whip and short pole all day and was rewarded with third place and a mixed bag weighing 6lbs 13oz.

Overall the river didn't produce many other reasonable weights and the fishing could only be described as patchy.

We now take a long look forward to June 16th and the start of the new season.

As always, many thanks to Steve Izzard for his fine work as match secretary, everyone appreciates his hard work year in year out whatever the weather. Many thanks Steve.


Sunday 5th March 2017, Percy Baron Trophy Round 4

Venue: Pevensey Haven

Not a day for the fair weather fisherman, another area of low pressure moved in as forecast, and the competitors suffered a day of heavy showers and blustery winds. When will the weather on a Sunday improve?

However, the anglers fishing the pegs at the end of the first field didn't mind the conditions, as with boxes positioned in the mud, they caught steadily in a flowing river.

Michael Wood won the match, fishing with a pole half way across to land some chunky roach and finished with a very respectable 4lbs 11oz. At the very end peg Rod Brown landed roach and several skimmers to secure second with 4lbs 1oz, again all fish falling to pole tactics, while brother Tony claimed third with another roach and skimmer bag, to  finish with 3lbs 1oz.

The rest of the guys fishing the early pegs all suffered a bite less day. The top three anglers certainly deserve credit, weighing in good weights on a very tricky day weather wise and the river, with weed on the bottom and flowing hard all day, made things interesting.

We now look forward to the final competition of the river season at Ironbridge next Sunday for the Bill Walder Trophy (A change of venue from the scheduled Boreham Street). Hopefully, Michael, Rod and Tony will have managed to clean their gear and be ready for the match.

The Bill Walder Trophy is always well attended, and with Ironbridge upstream again producing, even on the hardest of days, good weights are expected.


Sunday 26th February 2017, Annual Pairs Match

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

It seemed storm Doris was determined to hang around for a few more days and the weekend weather in general was dull, damp and windy. Thankfully the Haven held a decent colour and flowed from time to time. In all honesty though, the fishing was patchy and not as good as many thought it would be.

In the pairs match combined weights are taken from anglers two pegs to the left and two places to the right. To make the explanation simple, on this occasion, Trevor Hoad at peg 6 won the overall match with 3lbs 10oz of roach and small skimmer bream caught with a pole and pinkie as bait. Fishing a peg 4 (two places to his right) was Chris Copeland who came second on the day with 3lbs 5oz of roach and rudd caught on the waggler with big maggot on the hook and their combined weight of 6lbs 15oz was enough to give them victory this year.

Rod Brown claimed third on the day with 3lbs 1oz, but neither of his partners had quite enough on the day to claim the prize. A couple of other weights hovering around 3lbs were recorded plus a couple of 2lbs plus, but for many the day was somewhat of a struggle. Let's hope for slightly more action on the Pevensey Haven next Sunday.


Sunday 12th February 2017, Percy Baron Trophy Round 3

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

Sadly the fishing matched the miserable winter day, as yet another very cold easterly wind was the order of the day, coupled with sleety drizzle for a while in the morning. How we have suffered on the bank since Christmas, wet and windy or wet and mighty cold.

Tony Brown managed to tempt two small perch to take his pinkie bait fished with a pole to win the match with just 2oz, while Dick Griffin fished a waggler, again with pinkie bait, to capture one perch for one and a half ounces to finish second and Rod Brown secured third with another small perch weighing 1oz. Unfortunately for the rest it was a big fat blank and most of the competitors raced home for a warming cup of tea or a glass of something somewhat stronger to help them forget the day. Winter fishing at it's finest, or maybe not!

It seems regardless of the weather you can usually guarantee a bite or two at Ironbridge, Boreham Street however seems to be a different kettle of fish.


Sunday 5th February 2017, 3rd Round Waggler Only

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

After a mild week with plenty of rain, the wind changed direction overnight from a westerly to a chilly north easterly, which blew straight into the faces of those taking part, a very cold and unpleasant day indeed. Fortunately due to a good colour, winter depth and steady flow in the river, the fish were in the mood to snack !

Chris Copeland fished his waggler over depth with big maggot bait and secured the trophy for another season by winning the match with 5lbs 12oz, his catch made up by roach, perch and small skimmer bream. Well done Chris. Second place went to Tony Brown at peg 2 who also caught a mixed bag to finish with 2lbs 2oz, just ahead of brother Rod in third position with 2lbs 1oz, with Dick Griffin placing fourth.


Sunday 29th January 2017, Percy Baron Trophy Round 2

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

Not a day of fabulous fishing, more of toil and pain! Yes, fishing in the winter can certainly be challenging. The Haven, after almost two weeks of being frozen, suddenly thawed overnight and the ice cold water, plus rain and additional colour from the EA dredging operations elsewhere on the river, certainly didn't help the conditions.

On a grey damp day, fishing from peg 3, by using a pole and whip with pinkie on the hook, Peter Gabbitas managed to temp some roach and small skimmer bream to secure victory with 2lbs 3oz, with one of Peter’s roach nudging the 9oz mark.

At peg 11 positioned around the second bend near the willow tree, Steve Davy landed a similar bag of fish to finish second with 1lb 10oz, while Trevor Hoad at peg 2 placed third with 1lb 4oz, just ahead of Rod Brown in fourth with 1lb 1oz. A couple of other weights just under 1lb were recorded and then sadly just the odd ounce or two for the rest.

Just the slightest of margins separate the top four anglers after two rounds, just 3 points to be exact. It wasn’t a match to remember for long, there's always next week though!


Sunday 15th January 2017, 2nd Round Waggler Only

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

This strange winter weather continues!

Two Sundays ago, heavy rain, last Sunday almost spring like, then today, after three cold days including some snow, heavy rain! In fact on arriving at the bridge it was frosty and icy even though the previous days forecast had suggested a short ride into a warmer day before the chill returns. It did not stop raining all day and was jolly cold as well.

The Haven held a good colour but had little in the way of flow and the fishing was tough going, the first 30 minutes for all competitors being quiet with no bites registered, but then slowly floats dipped and slid under for a couple of the anglers.

At peg 5 half way along the first straight, Chris Copeland hunkered down with the umbrella up and fished just over depth with pinkie on the hook, catching small skimmer bream and roach to win the match with 1lbs 10oz. Steve Davy positioned near the bridge at peg 1, caught a similar bag of fish and claimed second with 1lb 7oz, while at peg 3, Rod Brown managed third place with 1lb 3oz. All anglers caught but it was tough going on a very uncomfortable day, clothes and fishing tackle once again in need of a good hosing down to get rid of the mud.

However it's still all to fish for with just one round left, a mere fistful of points separating the top half a dozen anglers.


Sunday 8th January 2017, Percy Baron Trophy Round 1

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

After the deluge of rain that welcomed us into the New Year last Sunday, it's pleasing to report that the weather for this match was (in the words of Craig Revel-Horwood)           "FAB U LOUS"

A murky, misty and mild morning greeted the competitors, with the mist soon burning off to leave a sunny afternoon with a gentle downstream breeze.

To keep the "Strictly" theme going (this time with Len Goodman) the winner came from  peg 7, where Chris Copeland fished a waggler half way across with big maggot bait, to finish with 5lbs 13oz of roach and small skimmer bream, plus the odd fish caught from  time to time with a pole fished close in. In second place at peg 4 was Tony Brown, who used a pole to land 3lbs 1oz, made up of a larger skimmers and small roach, while close behind and tying in third position were Peter Gabbitas and Steve Davy who both finished with 3lbs.

Due to de silting work taking place between Ironbridge and Boreham Street, the river has a good colour at the moment, let's hope it stays that way for the remainder of the season.

Finally, the early arrivals today were greeted with a Mercedes parked right in front of the main farmers gate! The guilty person was a member of another club and after a short discussion did move his car, just as well as the farmer turned up later and needed access to the field. As with any of our waters, please park sensibly before settling down to fish without the worry of having to move your vehicle.


Sunday 1st January 2017, New Year Challenge & Match v Clive Vale

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

The twelve anglers who decided to behave themselves and drink only tea or coffee on New Years Eve were rewarded with a very nasty day weather wise, as, coupled with a strong and cold westerly wind, the rain continued to pour throughout the day and even the best wet weather gear on parade eventually gave in.

Although conditions weren't great, the fishing was O.K. really, as everyone enjoyed a number of bites. Craig Ramsden introduced only two balls of groundbait all day at peg 5 halfway along the first straight and caught consistently to win with 4lbs 6oz, made up of roach and small skimmer bream caught using a waggler. Next door at peg 6, Tim Relf, fishing for Clive Vale, was close behind, with a similar bag of fish, to claim second with 4lbs 1oz caught with a pole. Also using a pole at peg 11, just past the second bend, Steve Davy snatched third place with 3lbs 15oz. Most other weights were recorded between the 2 and 3lbs mark. Taking the top three weights from each club, Southdown won the match with 12lbs to Clive Vale’s 10lb 1oz.

The muddy and wet tackle and clothes will no doubt be lovingly cleaned during the week ready for action in the next competition. If you'd like to start the New Year fishing some matches, the next fixture is Round One of the Percy Baron Trophy at Middle Bridge next Sunday 8th January, the draw taking place at 9am, hopefully catching fish between the hours of 10 to 3.


Sunday 18th December 2016, 3rd & Final Round Xmas Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

This final match of the calendar year promised so much but in all honesty gave very little.

Another superb turnout of 18 anglers exchanged gifts and Christmas cards before the draw and with the river having a great colour and level for the time of year, everyone anticipated a great day’s sport. The weather was cloudy, mild and damp, with very little in the way of a breeze, or a glimpse of the sun between the clouds.

Fishing a peg near the willow tree, Tony Brown received an early Christmas present in the shape of a fine tench, which, along with several roach and skimmer bream, gave him a convincing victory with 6lbs 2oz, all his fish falling for pinkie on the hook presented with a pole.  Further upstream at peg 17, Trevor White also used a pole to catch a similar bag of fish to finish second with 5lbs 4oz, with third place going to Trevor Hoad with 4lbs 12oz.

A couple of other 4lb weights were recorded, but many other anglers suffered a rather Scrooge type of day with bites very hard to come by. The lack of flow in the river and little in the way of a surface ripple certainly not helping.

The winner of the trophy after the three rounds was Steve Davey, well done.

So, in a great post match atmosphere, on a grey and misty December afternoon (all we needed were some Christmas carols and a flake or two of snow!), with daylight fading, match secretary Steve Izzard totted up all the points and those competing chose their Christmas prizes, ranging from spirits, wines, beers, chocolates etc.

A collection was made for Steve to thank him for all his hard work once again this year, many thanks Steve, your efforts are much appreciated.


Sunday 11th December 2016, 2nd Round Xmas Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

A lovely day to be on the bank, with a frosty start but bags of sunshine later and a light westerly wind. Temperature not too bad either at around 10 degrees.

Thoughts from the 18 competitors taking part were thank goodness the annoying cold easterly wind had gone and that the river should fish well all along the match length.

With a decent colour and depth coupled with the slight downstream breeze, the Haven certainly did fish OK for mid December.

Having won round one last Sunday, Steve Davy placed one hand well and truly on the trophy as he followed up with another win today. Fishing at peg 14 near the sunken tree, he managed to temp several skimmer bream and roach to take his maggot bait, presented with a pole, for a winning weight of 5lbs 6oz.

At peg 9, birthday boy Chris Copeland used the waggler and whip to land 4lbs of roach, perch and skimmers to secure second, while close behind in third was Trevor Hoad who chose to use a pole and whip combination, finishing with 3lbs 13oz.

Most of the anglers enjoyed plenty of bites and with the third and final round scheduled for next Sunday, it's all to play for.


On a rather sour note, one of the competitors noticed a Swim Stim Carp groundbait bag discarded and thrown in the water near the bankside reeds. Having made his way down to retrieve it and empty the water inside, out popped a worm tub and empty cigarette packet which then also fell into the river. If by chance you’re the idiot who left his rubbish there, please remember, if you took it with you, for goodness sake take it home and dispose of it properly! It's people like that that can cost clubs to loose waters.


Sunday 4th December 2016, 1st Round Xmas Cup & Match v Seaford

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

With just three weeks to go before Christmas day, the anglers turning up were in full festive spirit, some even donning seasonal hats to keep away the brisk easterly wind that seems to dominate the weather at the moment. However, although with clear blue skies the sun had his hat well and truly fixed on, it was once again a cold winter’s day.

Some 20 guys turned up to brave the conditions, hoping to draw somewhere in the first nine pegs, as generally at this time year that's the place to be and it was a lucky day for Peter Gabbitas, as, not being content with winning the pre-draw raffle, he went on to pull out peg 1, a flyer on a cold winters day if ever there was one !

Winner on the day however, with an impressive 6lbs 6oz, was Steve Davy at peg 5, who fished a pole with pinkie as bait, to catch small roach and skimmer bream.

Peter did manage to slip into second place with 4lbs 9oz of roach and skimmers tempted on a whip, again with pinkie bait.

With the top weights generally coming from the low numbered pegs, Patrick Newman at peg 18, did very well to claim third with 4lbs, catching perch and roach by fishing a combination of long pole and whip, while Trevor White fishing at peg 4, was just behind in fourth, with 3lbs 13oz.

On a very chilly day when a few blanks were to be expected, it was nice to record that everyone caught, for some though it was a struggle to gain a consistent run of bites.

Pleasingly the forecast for the next week suggests a warmer south westerly wind, so hopefully the fishing in round two at Middle Bridge will throw up plenty of good weights. See you there for the 9am draw.


Sunday 27th November 2016, 1st Round Waggler Only

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

After the match I'm sure most of those taking part rushed home and scribed on the note to Santa: “Please can I have a full face balaclava for Christmas! O.K., if not, a decent set of thermal undies then”, as the sun refused to shine and a biting cold north easterly wind blowing constantly at 17/18 m.p.h into one’s face made for almost unbearable conditions. It was fffreezing!

At least the Haven looked O.K. with a slight flow, good depth and reasonable colour.

Before the draw and the onset of a slight dollop of hypothermia had set in, the clear thinking anglers decided that pegs 1 to 4 nearest the bridge would be the ones to occupy, being just slightly sheltered from the wind, however, the fish don't always agree with the fishermen trying to catch them.

Chris Copeland groaned slightly, or was it something far more unprintable, as he pulled out peg 11, then turned and aimed his trolly towards then end of the first field, but as it turned out this was not a bad place to be. Cheers erupted as his neighbours for the day, Trevor Hoad, Rod Brown and Gary Flint all caught first cast. A consistent run of bites was hard to achieve but by changing depths from time to time and fishing big maggot on the hook, Chris managed to winkle out 1lb 15oz of small roach and skimmers to win the match.

At peg 4, Steve Davey also caught roach and skimmers from time to time and claimed second with 1lbs 10oz, just ahead of Rod Brown at peg 12, who finished with 1lb 9oz. Although some other weights only consisted of one or two fish, considering the weather, it was still a reasonable day on the river.

We now eagerly await the Christmas Cup kicking off at Ironbridge next weekend, festive head wear optional! Be good to see you there for the 9am draw.


Sunday 13th November 2016, Cuckmere Cup Third & Final Round

Venue: River Cuckmere, Churchlands, Arlington

A fascinating river the Cuckmere, unpredictable maybe a better word to use.

After a day of mostly rain on Saturday, then a drop in the temperature overnight, which left a slight frost in the morning, the competitors arriving were slightly worried about how good or bad the fishing would be. Pleasingly however the river held a good depth, flow and colour. At least half a dozen of the guys could still win the cup, as only a small number of points separated the top places going into the final round.

Tony Brown fished the pole with maggot bait and put in a fine performance to win the match with 6lbs 2oz of roach and small chub but would it be enough? Sadly the answer for Tony was no, as Craig Ramsden who was leading the pack by the slightest of margins after two rounds, secured second place with 4lbs 6oz of roach, again caught using a pole and this was enough put his hands on the trophy for this year. Well done Craig, the youngest of the regular competitors by several years, but unlucky for Tony who was consistent throughout the series. Third place on the day went to Chris Copeland with 2lbs 8oz of roach and one small chub all caught using a waggler.

On a chilly but bright winters day, the river fished better than a lot of other local venues that weekend with all the competitors enjoying a number of bites.

Sunday 6th November 2016, Scratch Match

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

After a decent scratch match the week before, as there was again no home competition scheduled for the day, the match guys decided to do it all over again, the venue chosen this time being Boreham Street. Previous club matches here in recent years have been tough going, with very few fish caught as soon as there's a glimpse of frost and lower temperatures. However with the de-silting work that took place here in March, it was felt that with more depth in the water and it having now had time to settle, things could be different and when the anglers arrived at the bridge, although there was a thick frost and chilly breeze, fish could be seen topping all along the first straight, always a confidence booster !

First place was shared between Rod Brown and Chris Copeland who both weighed in 7lbs 8oz, both catches consisting of roach, rudd and perch, some of the roach nice and plump and around the 6oz mark, lovely looking fish. Rod chose to use a pole whilst Chris fished a waggler. Also enjoying plenty of bites was Tony Brown in third place with 5lbs 9oz using a pole and Dick Griffin who was pegged at the very first swim in the first field to secure fourth with 3lbs 1oz. On a rather cold November day it was pleasing to note that the fishing was fabulous for silverfish with lots of bites with decent sized fish being landed. There were a couple of guys fishing for pike on the same day and apparently they were also successful.

Hopefully Boreham Street can now be depended upon to fish well in the winter months as well as in the summer.

Sunday 30th October 2016, Scratch Match

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

As there was no home competition scheduled for the day, several of the regular match anglers decided to hold a scratch match at Ironbridge upstream on the Wallers Haven.

For the time of year the day itself was good with sunny skies and a temperature hovering at about 14 degrees, the river however was still very low and clear but a slight ripple on top of the water in most pegs helped make the fishing respectable.

Towards the end of the first field Tony Brown connected with a plump tench of 5lbs 5oz which fell for a single pinkie on the hook, which, coupled with several silverfish, gave him a winning weight of 8lbs 10oz, all caught using a pole. Brother Rod fishing next door at the end of the first field near the fence, landed a nice mixed bag of roach, rudd and perch to claim second with 6lbs exactly, again using a pole. In third with 4lbs 6oz was Craig Ramsden who chose to fish with a waggler and Chris Copeland managed fourth place with 2lbs 12oz. There were decent back up weights too from Malcolm Faukner, Dick Griffin and Trevor Ramsden.


Sunday 16th October 2016, 5th Round Marsh Shield

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

Considering we are now well into the month of October the weather was pretty good, as although the early arrivals were greeted with very heavy showers, the day improved and the competition was fished mainly in sunshine and a warm but gusty southerly wind.

Due to the lack of rain in the last month or so, the river was about two feet lower than is normal for this time of year and it was also fairly clear, which never bodes well for a decent days fishing. Before the draw it was thought that the pegs furthest from the bridge would fish best as the wind was blowing nicely upstream and putting a decent ripple on top and so it was to prove on the day.

Trevor Ramsden drew end peg 13 which is towards the end of the first field and opted to use a pole close in with big maggot bait. The tactic worked, producing a consistent run of bites from skimmer bream, roach and perch and his 6lbs 5oz was considerably more than the rest of the guys could manage. Tony Brown at peg 8 and Chris Copeland on peg 10 landed a similar bag of fish, mainly caught on the pole and tied for second place with 2lbs 5oz. Close behind, again using a pole, was Steve Davy at peg 12, to claim third position with 2lbs 3oz. Bites were harder to come by closer to the bridge and a frustrating day was had by a number of competitors, with just ounces weighed in by several. That's fishing though.

We now have a run of away matches on lakes, then it's back to the third and final round of the Cuckmere Cup on 13th November, scheduled for Raylands Farm at Arlington.


Sunday 9th October 2016, Cuckmere Cup Round Two

Venue: River Cuckmere, Shermans Bridge, Upstream

Due to a function being held at Arlington Church over the weekend, the match originally scheduled for Churchlands was moved to Shermans Bridge by Match Secretary Steve Izzard. Our thanks are due to Michael Wood for clearing swims at Arlington during the week, hopefully we can use them over the coming months.

Plenty of blue sky and sunshine was on offer for the duration of the match, but sadly so was a nagging North Easterly wind, which made conditions slightly uncomfortable from time to time, plus making the fishing tough going.

Fishing with a pole, Craig Ramsden found some shelter from the wind in a swim below the weir and found small chub and roach keen to take his maggot bait, his weight of 4lbs 1oz easing him gently into first position. Midway along the second field Tony Brown also fished with a pole and found roach, perch and small chub in the deep water in the middle of the river to claim second place with 1lbs 14oz, while Steve Izzard was close behind with a mixed bag in third with 1lbs 12oz, having also lost a tench mid way into the match. For the rest of those taking part it was a real struggle, with ounces only being recorded, mainly we think due to the chilly wind.

With the third and final round scheduled in a month’s time, it's all to play for in the quest for the silverware. With as many as 8 anglers within points of each other, the battle should be an exciting affair, Craig Ramsden holding top spot at the moment.

Finally, with one of the guys slipping in whilst setting up and needing assistance from two mates close by to help him climb out of the water, just a timely reminder. Please take great care when fishing any part of the Cuckmere, especially when there's no one else around.

On all sections of the river it can be up to six feet deep straight down from the bank and if you do slip in there's often not much to grab hold of to try to get back up. Have a good check of your surroundings and make sure your on firm ground before settling down, then enjoy the fishing safely!


Sunday 2nd October 2016, Roy Andrews Memorial

Venue: Marle Green

A gorgeous setting on a stunning October day. Clear blue sky and stacks of sunshine, with just a gusty northerly breeze keeping the temperature down a tad, in fact, those fishing on the far bank in the shade of the woods, wore their coats all day, whilst Rod Brown fishing the point and sheltered from the wind, could have done with a deck chair rather than his seat box, as he was bathed in sunshine all day and took home a nice tan!

Trevor White won the trophy this year, pegged opposite the brick hut on the far bank near the dam wall, he fished a 4 metre pole to hand with big maggot bait and caught skimmer bream, hybrids, roach and perch consistently from the off, to finish with 11lbs 14oz. Well done Trevor.

At peg 4 on the near side bank, Chris Copeland fished a combination of pole and waggler, again with big maggot bait, to land 8lbs 4oz of roach and skimmers and second place, whilst Steve Izzard used a waggler to secure third position with 5lbs 1oz, with a suntanned Rod Brown finishing fourth on 4lbs 7oz.


Sunday 25th September 2016, 4th Marsh Shield, KO Cup Final, Match v Clive Vale

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

Considering the minimal amounts of rainfall this past month, the Haven held a good colour and reasonable depth and with several fish topping along the match length the mood of the 18 anglers taking part was very positive.

After lively pre match banter, including the performance of Ed Balls on Strictly Come Dancing the previous evening, along with Chelsea's current defensive frailties, the enthusiastic competitors dipped a hand into the draw bag. Sadly for some this is where the day took a turn for the worse as some pegs proved to be completely useless with others however full of fish!

Peter Stradwick drew peg 12, just past the second bend and having introduced 11 Jaffa sized balls of ground bait after the start whistle blew, sat back and enjoyed the action. Fishing a waggler with a combination of worm and maggot on the hook he landed an impressive 28lbs of bream and tench to win the match convincingly.

Towards the end of the first field, at peg 17, Peter Gabbitas targeted the far bank lily pads with a pole, fishing as tight as possible to the pads in a strong wind this was quite a feat, however he was rewarded with a fine haul of 21lbs 15oz of bream and skimmers for second place.

Third place and the Knockout Cup went to Gary Flint at peg 14, who finished with a tench and several decent sized skimmer bream for 13lbs 4oz, whilst Clive Vale’s Mark Hinxman secured fourth with 11lbs 3oz.

By taking the weights of the top three anglers from each club, Southdown won the match with 63lbs 3oz compared to the visitors 23lbs 6oz.

The river fished very strangely, throwing up a number of bream and tench for some, whilst the guy next door struggled through 6 hours with barely a bite, the first straight fishing very badly indeed. From the second bend upstream seemed to be the place to be.

We now look forward to Marle Green and a lay in next Sunday, as we wave goodbye to summer 2016 with the early 8am draws giving way to the draw at 9 with the fishing between 10am to 3pm. We hope to see you there.


Sunday 18th September 2016, Cuckmere Cup Round One

Venue: River Cuckmere, Shermans Bridge, Upstream

So far this season a number of specimen fish have been recorded from this stretch of the river, including Carp to 19lbs, Bream of over 6lbs and Tench to 5lbs. Expectations therefore before the match were high, the only worry being whether the rain on Friday and a change to a North Easterly wind direction would give the fish an excuse not to feed, we all know how fickle they can be ! The river held a decent colour and the day itself very pleasant with warm sunshine and gentle breeze, the Long Man of Wilmington could be seen in the distance and overall it was a very enjoyable place to be.

Pleasingly plenty of bites were enjoyed by all competitors, however, those targeting the bigger species soon gave in and went after any sort of interest they could attract, as the big guys in general failed to show. Peter Gabbitas used a combination of the whip and pole to catch roach and small chub from the off, and went on to win the match with 4lbs 15oz. Craig Ramsden, fishing in the peg upstream of the weir held his nerve on the feeder and was rewarded with a Tench plus several bits for 4lbs 2oz and second place. Meanwhile, Chris Copeland claimed third with 3lbs 15oz of roach caught using a pole, with quite a number of his fish being taken in a frantic last forty minutes. Tony Brown came fourth, close behind, with 3lbs 9oz.


Sunday 4th September 2016, Club Match

Venue: Curls Farm

A day that promised so much fishing and weather wise but in the end came to nothing really.

Forecasters had suggested a decent sunny day, but a constant blustery wind with cloudy skies kept conditions cool and occasionally awkward, especially when trying to cast a method feeder to the far bank.

Steve Davey used a combination of pole and feeder to temp four carp and several rudd to win the match with 18lbs 2oz. He used various baits, including meat, corn, boilies and maggots. Chris Copeland tried all of those as well and landed two carp and a number of rudd on the method feeder to claim second with 16lbs 10oz, while Neil Post came third with one carp for 5lbs.

So nothing spectacular, conditions seemed against us, having had a drop of rain overnight, a  gusty wind and a sudden drop in temperature.

Never the less, we now look forward to round one of the Cuckmere Cup in a fortnight’s time on the 18th September at Shermans Bridge.


Sunday 28th August 2016, Match v Hastings & Bexhill

Venue: Marle Green

Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, not a single Southdown angler turned up to fish the annual home match against Hastings and Bexhill.

Never the less, the seven visitors fished and had a really good day, the top weight being a staggering 93lb, all carp plus 1 skimmer bream, all being caught on the surface (including the skimmer) using dog biscuits. The second place weight was 30lb, again carp from the surface on dog biscuits, while third place was taken with a 15lb catch, just one carp, with the rest being roach, skimmers & hybrids.


Sunday 21st August 2016, Away Match v Clive Vale

Venue: River Rother, Blackwall

The rain forecast for earlier in the week did not fall quite as heavily as expected and although the Rother is deep, up to 11feet in places, unfortunately it held little in the way of colour or flow.

Before the draw most competitors thoughts were about how hard the fishing could be, the hundreds, nay thousands, of bleak that live here would certainly oblige, but did we really want to catch them when there should be plenty of bigger fish to be captured, but within the first hour of the match it was plain that the day would be tough going, with just an odd skimmer bream, roach and bleak caught here and there.

Clive Vale anglers captured the top two places, both drew pegs towards the end of the first field where they were more sheltered from a strong wind, Tim Relf securing first place with 9lbs 6oz of skimmer bream and roach caught using a pole and big maggot and similar tactics worked for Wayne Taylor who landed a mixed bag for 6lbs 13oz and second position, while Southdown’s Peter Gabbitas came third with 6lbs 6oz, also caught on the pole. Although there were two other reasonable weights of around the 6 and 5lbs mark, generally for the other anglers, it was a struggle to catch anything but bleak!

By taking both club’s top three angler’s combined weights, Clive Vale won the match with 21lbs 10oz, to Southdown’s 15lbs 8oz.

It was a lovely warm day to in which to fish, but we really need some rain to put a bit of colour and flow back in the rivers. However, we'll probably regret saying that when autumn finally arrives, along with days of wind and rain, long live summer 2016!


Sunday 14th August 2016, 3rd Marsh Shield & KO Cup Semi-final

                                                 Plus Match v Haywards Heath

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

On a gorgeous summer’s day, the impressive turnout of 20 anglers deserved better than a slow trudge through six hours of struggling to entice any movement on the tip or dip on a float. Thankfully, to help relieve the boredom, all those fishing were entertained by a fabulous air display courtesy of the aircraft going to and fro at Eastbourne's Airborne display.

We may not all like the rain, but the Wallers could certainly do with some to put a bit of colour back in it.

However, having initially thought he'd drawn badly with peg 3, Patrick Newman managed to find some roach and skimmer bream. Fishing with a waggler and big maggot bait, he went on to win the match with 5lbs 6oz.

At the other end of the first field at peg 17, Ian Wicks decided to use a feeder, again with maggot bait and just missed out on top spot with 5lbs 5oz, which was by far good enough to secure second place. In third was Gary Flint with 2lbs 1oz, just ahead of Craig Ramsden with 1lb 14oz, all being Southdown AA members. For the rest, it was a case of wondering what a bite even looked like.

By taking the combined weights of the top six anglers from each club, Southdown won the inter-club match with 17lbs 6oz compared to the visitor’s 7lbs 4oz.

The Wallers Haven is a river full of fish, but on the day you'd never have known it, so it’s good that anglers are positive souls and there's always another day to look forward to.

Well done to Trevor Hoad and Gary Flint who made it through to the Knockout Cup final due to be fished in several weeks time on the 25th September at the same venue and commiserations to Tim Crowdey and Chris Copeland who were defeated on the day. Strangely, both Trevor and Gary are Chelsea fans, whilst Tim and Chris support Spurs, so, with the new football season underway this weekend, we will see how the teams go, but fair to say the Chelsea boys won today!

Let’s hope that with some rain forecast later into the coming week, the away match on the Rother at Blackwall next Sunday fishes better.

Sunday 8th August 2016, Roger Weston Memorial

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

There are days when you would think there aren’t any fish in the Wallers Haven and unfortunately this was one of them, the lack of any recent rain being reflected in very clear water and only the low cloud and wind saved it from being a real grueller, with the fish seemingly in pockets and generally well tucked under any available cover.

So it was for the 13 initially enthusiastic competitors who lined up for the annual Roger Weston Memorial match.

Ian Wicks is always very generous with his advice for others and used his many years of experience to show the field a clean pair of heals, weighing in a winning 4lb 12oz from the middle of the second field, catching skimmer bream intermittently on the feeder using chopped worm and casters for feed. Fishing nearby in second place was Gary Flint with 2lb 15oz, again bolstering his weight with some feeder caught small skimmers. Third overall was Grenville Weston from the middle of the first field with 2lb 10oz and fourth Chris Copeland with 2lb 5oz caught on the waggler.

Ian did most things right on the day, but caught a little too much, losing out by just half an ounce in the predict your weight game that all competitors entered before the start of the match, Grenville Weston proving to be the nearest, although still some way off from his optimistic prediction of 3lb 8oz 8dr!

Ian did however nominate St Wilfrid’s Hospice to receive the £85 raised by the event.  Good choice Ian and well done.

Thanks to all those who participated and to Steve Izzard who kindly did the pegging and weighing in. Hopefully next year the fishing will be much better.

Here are the guys afterwards, some still managing to smile,

with winner Ian Wicks in the middle wearing the stripey top.

Sunday 31st July 2016, Club Match

Venue: River Cuckmere, Shermans Bridge, Upstream

Occasionally one hears some Association members suggesting that the Cuckmere holds no fish and indeed, sometimes whilst sitting there blanking you can understand why.

In reality though, we know the river is full of fish and quality ones at that.

Although the weather forecast was dull all day, the fishing was anything but. Likewise, the weather played its part too, with a warm day, bags of sunshine and just a light breeze.

The current holder of the Cuckmere Cup showed his form on the day and romped home! Using a pole with sweetcorn as hook bait, Trevor White tempted three fish, a bream, a carp and a tench, to win the match in style with 14lbs 3oz.

Fishing below the weir and also using a pole, but with worm hook bait, Peter Gabbitas caught 2 tench and several bits to claim second place with 8lbs 13oz.

Chris Copeland got his pole out again and targeted silver fish with big maggot hook bait, to sneak into third place with 4lbs 15oz of roach and small chub, just ahead of Tony Brown in fourth who weighed in 4lbs 10oz with a similar bag.

On a day when a couple of carp and tench were also hooked and lost, it was a reminder as to how good this river can be and how hard it may be to wrestle that Cuckmere Cup away from Mr White with the first round taking place in just under a months time.

Please remember if you haven't visited this stretch before, to have a prod around with a bank stick before settling down to fish, the average depth in the middle is 8ft, with some places even deeper and straight down from the bank it can be 6ft or more. Caution first! Especially if taking younger members along.


Monday 25th July 2016, Pole Shield

Venue: Cinderford Pond

Although the match calendar had this fixture down as Marle Green, it was decided to switch to Cinderford for several reasons. Failing light at Marle Green by the close of play at 9pm, especially if conditions are overcast, has been known to give some problems in previous years, with difficulty seeing a float, broken tackle etc. Silverfish catches from this venue have also been relatively poor recently, plus no competition had ever been fished at Cinderford before, so it would be interesting to see what the result would be.

On the evening, conditions were bright, sunny and warm with a strong breeze, although the pond is fairly sheltered. All the anglers used poles at 4 metres or less and the fishing was very good, with Gary Flint catching from the off, to win the match with 8lbs 10oz, his catch consisting of small tench, roach, rudd and brown goldfish. Trevor Hoad secured second place with a similar bag for 7lbs 2oz, with 6lbs 5oz enough for Tim Crowdey to claim third.

The brown goldfish (and there are some really golden ones in there too), mistakenly thought to be crucians when the original fish were stocked (with EA approval), before all the work on creating Cinderford Pond had even been completed, after being rescued by the old Hailsham club from a pond being drained at Horsebridge. They have been caught weighing in excess of 3lb in the past and certainly tug a bit when hooked.

The tench were also stocked by the Hailsham club, relatively few in number at the time, but they have obviously bred successfully as there appears to be plenty of them, but not to any real size.

If you've not fished this venue before, it's very pleasant and one is almost certainly guaranteed bites from plenty of fish, with some bigger ones to certainly surprise you from time to time.


Monday 18th July 2016, Evening Cup, Round 6

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

With 3 competitions in almost as many days, involving close on 20 hours of fishing, those members who fished all three (and some did!), could be forgiven for feeling just a little jaded by the end of the evening. With the temperature forecast to rise to 30 degrees on the following day, the evening was very warm, with bags of sunshine, clear blue sky and 22 plus degrees, all very nice but not great conditions for fishing.

The match venue was switched from the Pevensey Haven to the Wallers at Ironbridge, not this time due to excessive weed growth in the water, but, with a fabulous turnout of some 17 anglers there were simply not enough clear pegs available to accommodate this number of entries, so some serious effort is now needed to open up more swims at this venue and we therefore hope to carry out this work during next month or so.

However, sadly, on the night, the fishing on the Wallers was not great, the anglers enjoying joy and frustration in the same measure, some catching and some not !

We celebrate though, the victory of the youngest competitor on the bank in Craig Ramsden, (still in his 20's, not like the rest of us old geezers) who drew a decent swim, peg 16, towards the end of the first field. He fished well, with a waggler set at half depth, to catch 3lbs 5oz of roach and skimmer bream, all falling to big maggot bait, to secure his first victory in a Southdown match. Well done Craig.

At peg 8, having caught just two small fish by 8.15 and with just 45 minutes of the match remaining, Gary Flint changed tactics to target eels, losing one but by catching three, he claimed second place with 2lbs 13oz, all caught using a pole. Malcolm Faulkner also used a pole to land 2lbs 5oz of roach and skimmers to place third, while close behind in fourth, was Steve Davey with 2lbs 4oz.

Not great weights, but what a lovely evening. As we left, a barn owl was doing it's thing along the bank, the sun was setting and the mist rising above the water, here comes summer (sorry, can’t help it, there’s another old song title!)


Sunday 17th July 2016, 2nd Marsh Shield and KO Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

A gorgeous day weather wise but for some of the 15 competitors it was a day of toiling in the sun for little reward apart from gaining a nice suntan. The match length fished very strangely, with bags of skimmer bream in certain spots, but not much at all in others.

Gary Flint managed to find some at peg 10 fishing with a pole and big maggot hook bait, to claim first place with 11lbs 5oz. Also catching skimmers at peg 15 was Neil Post, again using a pole, who was just a whisker away from victory, but with 11lbs 3oz, he fell just short. Rod Brown landed a nice tench, which, coupled with other bits, placed him third with 7lbs 6oz and in fourth, also with a tench in his net, was Tim Crowdey, who finished with 6lbs 1oz.

For many others it was a scramble for ounces and valuable points. Through to the semi finals of the knockout cup are: Gary Flint, Tim Crowdey, Trevor Hoad and Chris Copeland, with the next and penultimate round at Iron Bridge in mid August.


Friday 15th July 2016, Annual Night Match

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

After last year’s event at Boreham Street, when the river fished really well, the six competitors who took part were expecting great things before the draw, with an overcast sky and a warm breeze plus good colour in the water, conditions seemed perfect for large bags of bream and tench. How little we anglers know sometimes!

At the final whistle some twelve hours later on Saturday morning, tired minds were trying to work out where the fish had gone.

Neil Angell won the match convincingly with a bag of eels, we think as many as 17 in total. Fishing a feeder with either double maggot or meat on the hook he tempted 12lbs 3oz of the snakes (rather him than me!). But well done Neil all the same.

Kevin Saunders secured second place with two tench caught at the break of dawn on the pole and with the addition of some other bits, finished with 9lbs 3oz.

In third with 4lbs 4oz was Tim Crowdey, his weight also consisting of eels together with several small roach and perch.

Only one small bream was caught and apart from eels nothing else was taken during the darkness hours. It certainly was a strange match, with the competitors trying pole, feeder or waggler tactics in the early morning and still not managing to get a bite.


Monday 11th July 2016, Evening Cup, Round 5

Venue: Curls Farm

You don't need to attend night school to improve your education, just come along to our evening matches and broaden your knowledge, there were discussions on secret glugs and groundbaits (results were later to prove they didn't work), the EU debate raised it's head again, news filtered through that Teresa May would be our next Prime Minister (the wonder of the mobile phone) and Portugal’s win in Euro 2016 amongst other topics.

The match was fished on a sunny but cool and blustery evening, with the wind speed forecast at 25 mph from the west, so much for summer this year !

Trevor Hoad drew peg 2, one of the best looking pegs on the evening and by using a method feeder cast to the far bank caught a couple of carp fairly quickly.

However, following up on his win the day before, Peter Gabbitas at peg 3 started to catch and by netting a fish with five minutes still to go, won the match with five carp for 28lbs 8oz, again using a method feeder to the far bank. Trevor finally finished with four and 26lbs 5oz for second place, while Michael Wood secured third by also landing four fish for 22lbs 10oz.

Several anglers cursed bad casting, lost fish and therefore valuable points, along of course with the secret flavoured baits that didn't work, Sweetcorn it seems, was all it took for most.


Monday 10th July 2016, Roger Izzard Memorial

Venue: Marle Green

The annual match fished in memory of our late club president took place on a cool, gloomy and damp, or even rather wet day and the general mood of some competitors at the end would seem to match!

Carp were the order of the day and having waited patiently for several hours, Peter Gabbitas managed to tempt three to his worm bait with a method feeder cast to the lillies at peg 2, to win the trophy with 14lbs 15oz.

Using a pole, Rod Brown caught a couple of small skimmer bream and two carp to secure second place with 12lbs 9oz, while Steve Izzard can count himself unlucky really, he managed to land a carp fairly early on, but couldn't temp another to finish with a 9lbs 2oz and third place, his catch made up by the carp and a couple of small perch.

In fact large numbers of small perch were caught along with small roach, but those trying to win on silverfish really struggled, with the skimmer bream again in hiding with only a very small number caught. Bites for many were hard to come by and back up weights generally were well under 5lbs.

Many thanks to Steve Izzard for supplying raffle prizes, the raffle being a lively affair with plenty of post match banter and fun in the rain!


Monday 4th July 2016, Evening Cup, Round 4

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

Amazingly there were over a dozen anglers all keen to get going and already awaiting the draw for pegs shortly after 5 o'clock, although the draw wasn’t due to take place until 6!

Pegging out along the bank took place in glorious sunshine with a warm westerly breeze, however, by the end of the competition, the cloud had rolled in, coupled with a touch of rain.

The match itself was a real battle with small fish being caught from the off at various pegs, although some targeted the bigger fish but these unfortunately failed to show.

At peg 2, Steve Davy fished the waggler and landed small skimmer bream and roach to win the match with 5lbs 12oz, while at end peg 13, towards the end of the first field, Ian Wicks chose to use a pole and also caught silverfish for 5lbs 2oz and second place.

Trevor Hoad at peg 8 caught silverfish on the pole, then added three eels in the last thirty minutes to snatch third with 4lbs 10oz, meanwhile, with 4lbs 3oz, Chris Copeland came fourth.

With good match attendances such as we have generally seen so far this season, we have been able to pay out the top four in the pools. When entries are fewer in number, then it’s normally the top three only.


Sunday 3rd July 2016, Club Match

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge downstream

A really nice warm and still morning greeted all the anglers taking part. Although it was cloudy at Ironbridge, we could see the sun shining at Sovereign Harbour in the distance and as it turned out, the sun burst through later and it turned out to be a very warm day.

Gary Flint, affectionately known as Tigger, drew end peg 11 and continued his recent good run of form by landing two fine tench and several bits using a pole and he went on to win the match with 9lbs 7oz. He also lost a massive eel estimated at between 4 and 5lbs and although he managed to scoop the beast into his landing net, whilst reaching to unhook it, the wily fish jumped out of the net straight back into the river!

A possible new Association record was lost, great pity, clever things those eels.

Positioned at peg 2, Grenville Weston also used a pole to tempt skimmer bream and roach to claim second place with 6lbs 9oz, whilst next door at peg 1, Tony Brown also had a good day to place third with 4lbs 4oz.

A special mention also for Malcolm Faulkner who captured a lovely perch weighing 2lbs.


Monday 27th June 2016, Evening Cup, Round 3

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

The pre-match banter focused on whether it was a wise decision to place some pegs in the first field after pathetic results weight wise from there last Sunday and also whether England could put on a good display against Iceland in Euro 2016.

Let's put it this way, the pathetic display came from somewhere else this time!

The top weights however were from the fancied pegs opposite the pump house, where, at end peg 13, Grenville Weston fished with a pole and big maggot bait to catch skimmer bream and roach to place first with a weight of 6lbs 2oz, while pegged next door, Trevor Hoad used similar tactics to claim second place by landing 4lbs 7oz of mainly roach and the odd skimmer.

It was good to welcome Nigel Parks back after an absence of a couple of years, he did well too, coming third. Positioned in the first field, he fished with a waggler to catch roach and a clonking big eel to finish with 4lbs 2oz. Ian Wicks and Chris Copeland tied in fourth position with 3lbs 6oz apiece.

With three rounds gone and three still to fish there's barely 6 points separating the top 7 anglers, so it’s all to play for. We now look forward to Ironbridge on Sunday with Middle Bridge on the following Monday evening, maybe we’ll see you there.


Sunday 26th June 2016, 1st Round Marsh Shield & K.O. Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

Another good turnout of fifteen anglers were treated to a very nice summers day with plenty of sunshine and blue sky, a tad breezy but you can't have everything. After the amount of rain that had fallen in the past week, the Haven was quite high with a gentle flow and reasonable colour.

Following up on his win in the evening match on Monday, Gary Flint put in another fine performance and won this one too with 6lbs12oz. Fishing at peg 4 with a pole, he caught skimmer bream and roach, all falling for big maggot bait.

At peg 2 Steve Davey switched between the pole and waggler to temp 5lbs 5oz of roach and skimmers to claim second place, while at peg 8, towards the end of the first straight, Chris Copeland managed third with 4lbs 14oz just pipping Tim Crowdey by an ounce.

Tim had been targeting the tench at peg 12 on and off all day but without success, however, kind hearted Peter Gabbitas pegged next door, "leant" him a worm with just half an hour of the match remaining and within minutes of putting it on the hook, Tim’s float slid away and he promptly landed a nice plump tench, which, coupled with several smaller fish, meant he finished fourth with 4lbs 13oz and ahead of Peter. It's probably best that we don't describe the language coming from Peter’s peg, much to everyone's amusement !  


Monday 20th June 2016, Evening Cup, Round 2

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge downstream

For those that enjoy night fishing this would have been the perfect evening.

The heavy rain that fell during the day finally disappeared during mid afternoon to leave the Haven with a good colour and gentle flow. This, coupled with a good ripple on the surface courtesy of a mild south westerly wind, along with cloudy skies and mist settling along the hedge rows, gave the evening an almost eerie feel and the thoughts were that the fishing would be good.

Gary Flint had a big grin on his face as he parked his barrow at peg 1, the smile even wider some 3 hours later as he popped 10lbs 2oz on the scales to win the match convincingly. He fished the pole with big maggot bait and caught a nice bream together with a number of decent sized skimmer bream and roach.

At peg 4 the fine form of Malcolm Faulkner continued as he snared a tench first put in and just for good measure added a bream and several roach to secure second with 7lbs 7oz, using a whip to hand, brave man!

A good battle took place for third place at the final two pegs in the first field, Grenville Weston just pipping Chris Copeland in the last ten minutes. Grenville fished with a pole to finish with 5lbs 6oz, with Chris on the waggler for 5lbs 5oz, both catching a decent bream along with several small skimmers and roach.

Plenty of small fish were caught by the 13 anglers who took part but it was the bigger fish that made the difference with quite a number being landed.

With four rounds to go the top five positions are very close with more valuable points up for grabs next Monday evening, again on the Wallers Haven but this time at Boreham Street.

Finally thanks are due to the guys who cleared the swims in the first field.


Sunday 19th June 2016, Southdown Challenge Trophy

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

A lovely summers morning greeted the 15 anglers who took part, a warm south westerly breeze, plenty of sunshine, sky larks singing and a moo from the odd cow on the opposite bank, a lovely start to the day and the new season, who could want for more.

With the recent de-silting that has taken place and witnesses to bream being caught up to 5lbs 9oz on this stretch in the first few days of the new season, expectations were high, but you know where this is going!

A really weird and disappointing day fishing wise saw some competitors working hard for any sort of bite, a dip of the float courtesy of a passing dragonfly was enjoyed (or maybe not) by the anglers in the four pegs positioned in the first field, but genuine bites from fish were almost non existent and unfortunately it was the same much of the match length.

However, fishing with a pole and big maggot bait at peg 8, almost opposite the pump house, Malcolm Faulkner tempted a bream of around 4lbs, along with several skimmer bream, to claim the trophy with a winning weight of 6lbs 8oz.

At peg 13, Patrick Newman alternated between fishing the pole and feeder, to land skimmer bream and roach for 4lbs 2oz and second place, while pegged close to Pat, Steve Davey gave him a run for his money to finish third with 3lbs 13oz, while Trevor Hoad’s 3lbs 1oz was enough for fourth.

Congratulations to Malcolm on a his victory, we are all sure that this section will fish well this season and this was just a strange day. That's fishing for you and the challenge we all enjoy.


Monday 13th June 2016, Evening Cup, Round 1

Venue: Marle Green

So, after weeks of waiting, the first match of the new season took place at the picturesque North Farm Pool at Marle Green near Horam.

The day itself had been generally cloudy with showers, but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm and excitement of those taking part, even after another fairly unconvincing performance by the England team in Euro 2016 was discussed during the pre match banter, but quickly tossed to one side as the time for the draw approached and the talk focused on the fishing to be enjoyed.

If you've read the match reports from this venue before you'll know that it's often a case of a "feast or famine", "all or nothing" type of water, and so it proved on the night.

It seemed only fitting however, that the guy who spent several hours on the bank strimming and clearing swims earlier in the day, enjoyed a very good night. Water Maintenance Manager Tim Crowdey pulled out peg 1and raced off to his swim in the woods on the bank opposite the brick hut, the tyres on his barrow smoking! Fishing with a pole and big maggot on the hook, he caught small skimmer bream consistently during the two and a half hours to win the match with 7lbs 14oz.

Next door at peg 2, Chris Copeland surprisingly also chose to use the pole (mind you he bought it in December and has only used it twice, so thought he should!), to come second with several small skimmers and a nice plump tench for 4lbs 3oz. Malcolm Faulkner secured third by landing 2lbs 13oz of skimmers and roach.

For the rest it was a real struggle, with some guys struggling for ounces. It seems that either the skimmers shoal up in one or two areas, or maybe have just become a little bit wiser, who knows for sure.

What we do know for certain is that the Southdown Challenge Trophy is up for grabs on Sunday 19th June on the Wallers Haven at Boreham Street, with an 8am draw for pegs. The river now looks fabulous, with loads of swims available, including plenty in the first field. Hopefully we shall see you there.


Sunday 29th May 2016, Club Match

Venue: Curls Farm

On a beautiful May morning with clear blue skies and warm sunshine, coupled with a gentle wind, those arriving in the car park were full of optimism and thoughts of a good days sport.

However as we all know only too well, the fish sometimes don't always play ball, and so it was to prove on the day, the lake being full of spawning carp thrashing against the reeds and bankside, clearly having more on their minds than taking the odd piece of bait!

Suddenly any ideas of a good days sport disappeared to be replaced with thoughts of how hard the fishing could be.

The northerly breeze blowing across the lake meant that the sounds of the brass band at the nearby Laughton Country Fair were audible to those fishing and the anglers were entertained with music by the Monkees, Dire Straights, Simply Red and even a version of Phantom of the Opera. Now you know the one that goes: "over the hills and far away.....”!

Anyway, back to the fishing, the competitors toiled away in the heat of the day generally with little or no success and bites for some were almost non existent.

Draw bag specialist Peter Gabbitas yet again drew an end peg, number 1, which was highly favoured for rudd and, not content with drawing an end peg for the fourth match running, he also won a fourth match on the bounce, a fete not achieved by anyone before in the close season fixtures, well done Peter. He's hoping to keep his draw hand wrapped in cotton wool and well protected for the start of the season on the rivers!

Peter chose to fish a waggler with big maggot bait and caught rudd and four eels to finish with 8lbs dead. Tony Brown played the patient game and with just twenty minutes remaining, was rewarded with a carp, which, coupled with a rudd caught earlier, secured second place with 5lbs 6oz and Peter Stradwick claimed third by landing a nice bag of rudd for 4lbs 4oz.

Until nearly four hours into the match, Chris Copeland's only action was to dip his net into the water to save an earwig from certain death by drowning, however a short while later he did manage to land a small carp of 3lbs 6oz.  Andy Summers caught several rudd and poor Tim Crowdey lost a carp close in that could have won him the match, it was that sort of day! Nothing else worth reporting really, it was just the wrong day for the match, the carp having other ideas.

It will soon be forgotten though, as we now eagerly await the start of the river season, the first match being at Boreham Street on Sunday 19th June with an 8am draw, we hope to see you there. If not, the Evening Cup series commences at Marle Green on Monday 13th June, with the draw for pegs at 6pm.


Sunday 15th May 2016, Club Match

Venue: Marle Green

After a fairly chilly start to the morning the sun shone from time to time with the occasional sunny spell to be enjoyed and pleasingly the forecast of the odd rogue shower failed to materialise. The lake had a good colour and some of the lilies are now beginning to show.

After a vote before the draw, it was agreed to have a silverfish match only with no carp counting on the day and the three pegs nearest the dam wall and the brick hut were omitted.

The on form Peter Gabbitas drew peg 9 opposite the hut and made the most of it, with an impressive winning weight of 11lbs 4oz, made up of some decent net size skimmer bream along with a small tench and several small roach, all caught using a pole with big maggot hook bait.

On the same bank at peg 12, Steve Davey also opted for a pole and caught a similar bag (bar the tench) to finish second with 9lbs 14oz and next door at peg 11, Tim Crowdey secured third with 7lbs 11oz of skimmers and roach, again using a pole.

It was nice to see Andy Summers during the day, who came down to have a look and witness the weigh in, hopefully we will see him at one of the forthcoming matches very soon.

If ever you fancy attending, we have a friendly club match scene with plenty taking part, just make sure you check your club membership booklet for draw times and venues.

The next club match will be at Curls Farm on Sunday 29th May with the draw at 9am, then we look forward to the forthcoming river season which opens on June 16th, with, just before that, the first of our Evening Cup match series taking place at Marle Green on Monday June 13th, with the draw at 6pm and fishing from 6.30 to 9pm.

Sunday 1st May 2016, Club Match

Venue: Curls Farm

Although the nights during the past week had been cold and frosty, at least the daytime temperature from Thursday onwards had been reasonable, the views of those fishing were that it would definitely be a carp and not a rudd match.

Following up his win of two weeks ago, Peter Gabbitas was top dog again, with another impressive performance, with 6 carp, one of which was a lovely common of 13lbs 8oz, plus some rudd, to total 40lbs 13oz. Peter caught most of his fish on the method feeder, but the largest carp was tempted close in on the waggler.

In second place was Patrick Newman, with 7 carp for 35lbs 3oz, again caught on the method, while Michael Wood landed the biggest fish of the day, another beautiful common weighing 14lbs 6oz and with three others managed exactly 30lbs for third place.

A number of quality rudd were caught. They are in perfect condition and piling on the ounces which bodes well for the future.

Our next match is at Marle Green on Sunday 15th May, a 9am draw as usual, with fishing from 10am until 3pm.

Sunday 17th April 2016, Club Match

Venue: Curls Farm

The first of the four river close season lake matches was fished on a very sunny but chilly day at the picturesque Curls Farm.

Pre match talk focused on the previous two night’s weather which had both seen unseasonal heavy overnight frosts and those present thought that the fishing might be tough going. How right that turned out to be.

At the draw Peter Gabbitas was not best pleased with pulling out peg 1, which is a swim furthest from the dam end, but as it turned out this was the place to be !

Bites from carp were almost non existent and for the first time in a competition here the match was won with rudd. By fishing a waggler to the reeds, Peter caught rudd and a small carp to win the match with 11lbs 3oz.

If you've fished here before you'll be aware that reed cover in other swims is limited and other competitors caught using method feeders either close in or cast to the far bank.

Michael Wood secured second place with a lovely common weighing 9lbs 12oz and in third place was Tim Crowdey with two smaller carp for 8lbs 6oz. Chris Copeland came fourth with 7lbs 8oz of rudd and Graham Shinkfield also caught rudd to finish fifth with 2lbs 10oz.

Sadly for everyone else bites were pretty much non-existent, a strange day indeed.

Let's hope we enjoy some warmer days in the near future and the carp decide to feed.

However the rudd here are in perfect condition and if you fancy a change from targeting the carp, some good sport can be had.

Note also that the club record rudd was caught here, surely that has to tempt you!

The next Club match is again at Curls Farm in two weeks time, 9am draw, fishing 10am to 3pm.


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© Jonathan Cook