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

Match Reports 2020/2021

Sunday 20th December 2020, 3rd & Final Round Christmas Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge, Upstream

As the excited competitors arrived in the gloom of a mid winters morning (raining once again !) Christmas cards were exchanged, along with the usual fishing banter, plus talk of changes to festive plans due to the Prime Ministers press conference on Saturday afternoon. What a very strange and difficult year for everyone it’s been.

At least the fishing looked positive, a mild but wet day, plenty of colour in the river, and a decent winter depth, the only downside being a flowing river which could make things somewhat difficult and so it turned out, as although everyone caught, a consistent run of bites were hard to come by.

Fishing half way along the second straight Grenville Weston fished a combination of the long pole and close in whip, as aided by two eels caught late on with the whip and several small skimmer bream and roach captured earlier, he won the match with 3lbs 4oz.

At peg 3 along the first straight, Gary Flint also used a long pole to land small skimmers and roach to snatch second place with 2lbs 15oz, just ahead of Dick Griffin who was nice and snug on peg 1 and fished close in on the pole, to catch a lovely big roach, two eels and smaller roach, to finish with 2lbs 14oz. At the age of 80, Dick has fished these past few weeks regardless of what the weather chucked at us, with all the wind, rain and mud, taking it all in his stride. Well done, keep it going Sir !

After Match Secretary Steve Izzard totted up the points for the 3 rounds, it was announced that Gary Flint had won the trophy with 150 points, Chris Copeland finishing second on 147 points and Pete Easton third with 145 points. Congratulations Gary, well done.

Our thanks go to Steve Izzard for his hard work and dedication this year, and for procuring the prizes consisting of the usual fare of chocolates and alcohol.

Now in the words of the 80’s Welsh singing sensation Michael Barrett ( known really by everyone as Shakin Stevens !) we say to every member....



Sunday 13th December 2020, 2nd Round Christmas Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge, Upstream

Another round of the Christmas Cup with unfortunately another change of venue.

Originally scheduled for Middle Bridge, the match was switched to Ironbridge due to a very unfavourable weather forecast. Those that have fished at Middle Bridge will know that it’s no place to be in a strong wind and heavy rain, at least at Ironbridge the competitors were afforded some kind of shelter from the elements. However, the river here is capable of offering up a mud bath for those fishing and it certainly did on this day, with many of those taking part carrying home more weight from the mud on gear and clothes than they popped on the scales and as they battled the wind and rain when packing up, it certainly didn’t feel like “The Season to be Jolly”.

Pegged near the willow tree fishing a feeder with worm on the hook, big fish man Tom Farley had a good day targeting the “big uns” and was rewarded with a gorgeous looking mirror carp weighing 6lbs 1oz plus a small roach to finish with 6lbs 2oz.

Meanwhile at peg 3 along the first straight, Chris Copeland toiled away with the waggler three quarters of the way across, and landed skimmers and roach to tie for first place, also with 6lbs 2oz, while Gary Flint fished the pole to tempt roach and perch to end with 2lbs 9oz for third.

With one round to go only 6 points separate the top 4 anglers so it’s all to fish for next weekend, let’s hope it’s not quite so muddy.


Sunday 6th December 2020, 1st Round Christmas Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge, Upstream

The Christmas Cup remains one of the most eagerly awaiting series of competitions in the Southdown calendar, even more so this year after the recent lockdown with no matches.

This match should have been fished on the Pevensey Haven, however, rather than some festive snow, the weather gods sent several days of heavy rain, resulting in an unfishable river, so a the switch was made to the Wallers Haven at Ironbridge as the Wallers always seems to recover quickly after being in flood.

On a very chilly and grey winters morning, the early arrivals were greeted with the sight of a river holding lots of colour, a decent level and flowing pretty quickly, but at least it was fishable.

The fishing could be described as typical winter fishing, a struggle, but bites from time to time and reasonable for the conditions and time of year.

Gary Flint at peg 2 persevered with a pole, and aided by two small but net size skimmer bream caught late on, plus several earlier caught roach and perch won the match with 3lbs dead.

Meanwhile, at peg 16, just past the willow tree, Peter Stradwick landed a chunky eel and several roach to secure second with 2lbs 4oz, all tempted on the whip close in with big maggot bait, while at peg 4, the waggler approach didn’t quite work in the flow, but 2lbs of roach was enough to give Chris Copeland third place.

With two rounds to go all the competitors are still eying the trophy and singing Maria Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you”. Well that and a good draw obviously !


Sunday 1st November 2020, 2nd Round Cuckmere Cup

Venue: River Cuckmere, Shermans Bridge

Unfortunately, following all the rain in the past weeks, the river was in flood and the competition had to be cancelled.


Sunday 25th October 2020, Bill Walder Trophy

Venue: Pevensey Haven

As all fishermen know, when the weather is grim and the fishing even grimmer our partners often use the phrase “you must be mad”.

Today was one of those day. Heavy rain on and off all day coupled with a strong gusty wind and enough mud in which to hide a Hippopotamus, it was horrible !

A great pity really, as the Haven looked in top form, with a lovely colour and depth and a gentle flow.

For the first hour or so bites were plentiful but then the EA must have opened the sluice gates as the river started moving faster than Lewis Hamilton and the level dropped by around 2 feet, resulting in many anglers scratching rather wet heads and asking “where have all the fish gone”.

The man on form, Peter Easton, did however manage to snare a bream on the feeder and several roach on the pole to clinch the trophy with 5lbs 4oz, well done Peter.

Nick Ducatel landed a tench, an eel and several roach using a pole, to claim second with 4lbs 6oz, while “waggler man” Chris Copeland finished with 1lb 5oz for third place. Thereon after just ounces were the order of the day.

Typically, with just around 20 minutes to go to the final whistle, the sun came out and the river stopped flowing.

Let’s hope it’s less wet and muddy for the second round of the Cuckmere Cup at Sherman’s Bridge next weekend.


Sunday 11th October 2020, 2nd Round Waggler Only Trophy

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

There’s an old rhyme:

When the wind is in the west, then the fishing is at it’s best,

When the wind is in the south, it blows the bait into the fish’s mouth,

When the wind is in the east; then the fish bite the least, and:

When the wind is in the north, then the fisherman goes not forth”.

How true this proved to be, as although the day itself was bright and sunny, sadly the fishing was anything but, as with a brisk and chilly north easterly wind blowing straight down the river, coupled with little in the way of colour in the Haven, bites were hard to come by.

Peter Easton positioned at a peg before the post in the first field did very well considering the conditions, and popped a reasonable 1lb 2oz on the scales to cruise to victory, his catch made up of small roach and perch.

In second place was Chris Copeland at a peg past the model aeroplane landing area and his 7oz of small roach was just enough to just edge out neighbour for the day Tony Brown, who claimed third with 6oz.

Three blanks were unfortunately recorded, and the competitors hurried home to forget the fishing and the constant drone of the model planes roaring above


Sunday 27th September 2020, Roger Izzard Memorial Trophy

Venue: North Farm Pool, Marle Green

The early arrivals were greeted with a scene straight out of the excellent Mr Crabtree books, with the sun just peeping over the horizon, a still lake and a “startrek“ like mist just kissing the surface. In a word, gorgeous! Pleasingly the fishing was good too.

Winner on the day was Rod Brown who landed a stunning 15lbs 2oz mirror carp on the pole, this coupled with several small roach and perch gave him a winning weight of 18lbs 4oz. Well done that man.

Fishing in the woods and targeting the carp, was Steve Izzard, who tempted three of the beasts with a method feeder and wafter on the hook to claim second place with 15lbs 6oz.

In third position and also fishing the method feeder at peg 1 near the dam wall, was new man Steve Martin (welcome Steve) who also caught three carp to finish with 14lbs 10oz.

Other competitors also caught a carp here and there, and those targeting the silver fish enjoyed plenty of bites and recorded decent weights also.

All in all a lovely day, on a beautiful venue, in a very pleasant part of East Sussex.


Thankfully, our regular match reporter is now back in harness.

Sunday 13th September 2020, 1st Round Waggler Only Trophy

Venue: Pevensey Haven

A day for the sun cream and hat as the temperature touched 23 degrees C on another fabulous September day. Pleasingly the Haven held a half decent colour, the depth was good and the fish were in the mood to feed.

After spending numerous hours clearing swims over the course of several days, it was only fitting that work horse Michael Wood was rewarded with a good days fishing, as at peg 3 towards the end of the first field, he caught small skimmer bream, roach and rudd to ease to victory with 6lbs 15oz 12drms.

Just upstream at peg 1, Tony Brown landed a similar bag of fish to secure second place with 5lbs 0oz 8drms, and Graham Shinkfield just edged out Chris Copeland by a mere 4drms to claim third with 4lbs 1oz 12drms. Chris asked for a stewards enquiry to check the new club scales, but needless to say, the enquiry never too place !

There were plenty of bites for all those who took part on a very pleasant day at this lovely venue.


With our regular match reporter still on leave, we only have the results for

the top placings in the following three fixtures.

Sunday 6th September 2020, Match v Hassocks & Hayward’s Heath

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

1st  Norman Cragg; 9lbs 15oz

2nd Chris Humphrey-Smart; 9lbs 1oz

3rd  Roly Smith; 6lbs 3oz


Sunday 30th August 2020, Roy Andrews Memorial

Venue: North Farm Pool, Marle Green

1st  Steve Izzard; 14lbs 9oz

2nd Peter Gabbitas; 12lbs 7oz


Sunday 16th August 2020, 1st Round Cuckmere Cup

Venue: River Cuckmere, Shermans Bridge

1st   Peter Easton; 6lbs 5oz

2nd  Patrick Newman; 5lbs 4oz

3rd   Peter Gabbitas; 3lbs 2oz

Sunday 2nd August 2020,

Roger Weston Memorial Trophy, KO Cup Final & 3rd Round Marsh Shield

Venue: Wallers Haven, Ironbridge Upstream

It has been a few days since this match took place and only now has the excitement begun to subside! With three competitions featuring in the one fixture there was a great turnout of 19 highly expectant members and guests, thanks everyone.

The day had many highs and lows, featuring:

1. The heavyweight final of the KO Cup between Stephen “Ferret” Izzard and Peter

   “Cannonball” Stradwick, a real blockbuster.

2. Great weather.

3. No boats or paddleboarders to annoy us.

Alas, the fishing was generally dour and to cap it all, there was no draught Harveys available in the Bull’s Head afterwards to ease the heartache; a really devastating blow.

Despite the fishing being poor, it was an enjoyable occasion and the collective masses, including donations from absent members, raised £150 for charity that has been donated to the local Polegate branch of Children with Cancer Fund. Thank you to everyone that supported the event, this is much appreciated.

So, what happened then ?

For starters there was a pre-match Covid-19 social distanced enabled all-star photo.

We started with a 10 minute pre-baiting session before the fishing commenced at 10am and participants were warned not to be over enthusiastic as it was was expected to be tough and just 10 minutes after the start, the first murmurs of this isn’t going to fish very well were heard !

Not so for Tony “The Machine” Brown (front and centre above) as he was soon into catching fish on the waggler on peg 14, just past the second bend, near the big willow tree and by the blissful final whistle, he had amassed 4lbs 10oz of skimmer bream.

Next door Chris Copeland fished similarly for 4lb 2oz and in the same area, Pete Gabbitas had a level 2lbs. There were a few weights close behind these, but most people struggled.

This is the man known as the “Machine”, eventual and well deserved winner. Unfortunately, his catch has been missed by the useless photographer.

We used a continental style payout and the winners were: Tony Brown, Melvyn Oakley, Trevor Ramsden and Trevor Hoad in that order, well done all of you.

There was of course further excitement to be had on a tough day. Stephen Izzard literally “out-ounced” Pete Stradwick to win the KO Cup, well done from everybody, Peter Gabbitas secured beer tokens by correctly guessing the fifth highest weight of 1lb 13oz, but alas, they couldn’t be properly redeemed at the Bull’s Head and finally, Melvyn Oakley, “Sir” Gary of Flint, Trevor Hoad and Peter Gabbitas all caught 1 eel each and in doing so, shared the points prize for selected species. Nobody went home empty handed, as there was a peg draw afterwards for usual raffle type prizes.

We are going to have a good think about a different venue for next year where hopefully the sport may be a little more exciting. Have a think about it if you want to participate and let someone know.

Thanks again to everyone for entering into the spirit of the occasion. See you next year.

With our regular match reporter being on leave, we only have the results for

the top placings in the following four fixtures.

Monday 20th July 2020, Pole Shield

Venue: Pevensey Haven

1st   Steve Davey; 6lbs 1oz

2nd  Monty Neville; 5lbs 3oz

3rd   Peter Gabbitas; 4lbs 5oz


Sunday 19th July 2020, 2nd Round Marsh Shield and KO Cups

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

1st   Steve Izzard; 52lbs 9oz

2nd  Peter Stradwick; 17lbs 12oz

3rd   Gary Flint; 15lbs 7oz


Monday 13th July 2020, 4th Round Evening Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge, Upstream

1st   Gary Flint; 7lbs 1oz

2nd  Monty Neville; 2lbs 1oz

3rd   Patrick Newman; 1lb 10oz


Sunday 12th July 2020, Match v PACES

Venue: Pevensey Haven, Chilley

1st   Peter Gabbitas; 4lbs 4oz

2nd  Peter Stradwick; 3lbs 14oz

3rd   Monty Neville; 3lbs 7oz


Monday 6th July 2020, 3rd Round Evening Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

Summer 2020 returned and gifted us a lovely summers evening with just a light breeze and some warm sunshine. Unfortunately we were not gifted with a great evenings fishing and during the day it seems the Wallers is currently out of sorts.

Many competitors struggled for any sort of bite with just the odd roach or rudd showing from time to time. Gary Flint was a happy man however, as his grip on the Evening Cup tightened further. With a big eel and decent perch caught in the last 40 minutes added to several small roach caught earlier using a combination of pole and waggler, he won the match with 2lbs 13oz. That’s 3 out of 3 evening match victories, great fishing.

Amazingly “draw bags” Peter Gabbitas made it six, yes six end pegs on the trot and positioned himself next to the bridge for some whip fishing, catching roach and rudd with the odd perch chucked in for good measure, to secure second place with 2lbs 11oz, while towards the end of the first field, Chris Copeland fished the waggler to tempt small roach and rudd to finish third on the night with 1lb 13oz.

The fourth and final round takes place next Monday evening upstream at Ironbridge, with the usual draw time of 6pm.


Sunday 5th July 2020, 1st Round Marsh Shield and KO Cups

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

We have some excellent news to come, however we will start with the bad news first.

If you’ve ever fished at Middle Bridge you’ll know it’s not the place to be when it’s windy, and on this particular day it was very, very windy as with a persistent gale gusting up to 45mph, no flow and not much colour in the river, the fishing was absolutely dire.

However the excellent news is that 9 year old Frank Wilkinson won the match, maybe a future “Bob Nudd” in the making. OK then, for the older readers “Ivan Marks”.

Young Frank has been fishing matches for the past two weeks with his dad Wayne and by fishing the feeder at a peg just past the post with worm on the hook topped with a dead red maggot, he tempted an eel weighing 1lb 2oz and strolled to victory.

Well done Frank, hopefully the first of many.

It was a Wilkinson one-two as dad Wayne used the same tactics to clinch second place with a 13oz eel, just ahead of third placed Chris Copeland who persevered on the waggler for 12oz of small roach and skimmer bream .

Unfortunately there were several blanks and the competitors left wondering where all the fish had gone. A day to forget unless your name is Frank Wilkinson, well done again.


Monday 29th June 2020, 2nd Round Evening Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Middle Bridge

Not a pleasant evening to be fishing at Middle Bridge! The wind was incredibly strong, making for less than ideal conditions and it was chilly too for mid summer. At least the wind was blowing directly on to one’s back, but even still it was often difficult to stand up. Where’s the summer trotted off to?

Gary Flint slipped one hand on the trophy as he put in another sterling performance on a rather trying night. With a couple of eels and a small skimmer tempted on the feeder he won the match with 2lbs and with only two more rounds to go and victories in the first two, he’s in pole position to claim the silverware. Steve Davey placed second with 1lb 11oz,  while Peter Stradwick is chasing hard for the trophy, only three points off top spot as he secured third place on the night, with a couple of small skimmer bream and roach for 1lb 8oz, caught fishing the feeder.

We are hoping for an improvement in the weather and the fishing at this venue for this coming Sunday, when we will be holding the first round of the Marsh Shield and Knockout Cup matches, the draw for pegs taking place at the usual time of 8am with the fishing from 9am until 2pm.

If you would like to join us please make yourself familiar with the current match guidelines due to the COVID-19 restrictions. These can be found here on this website under the Competitions section, and also on our Facebook page:


Sunday 28th June 2020, Match v PACES

Venue: Pevensey Haven, Chilley End

With the scheduled match at the Hydnye cancelled due to a problem with weed and low water levels, the match was switched to the PACES’ water on the west bank of the Pevensey Haven at Chilley, a lovely part of the Sussex countryside.

After several glorious weeks the weather unfortunately changed overnight to leave an unseasonable chilly and very strong wind. In fact as we packed up, we witnessed two adults and a child flying kites in the fields!

Amazingly Peter Gabbitas drew end peg for the third match running. (watch out for those high numbers coming your way in the winter Gabby!). His luck must runs out sometime, well at least that’s what all the other competitors hope. Sitting at his peg very comfortably in the second field where the river had a lot more colour, Peter caught 13 bream and a tench using waggler tactics and absolutely slaughtered the rest of the field. In fact he landed two bream in the first 30 minutes and the winning weight added up to a very nice 44lbs, great fishing that man.

Meanwhile at the other end of the match straight, positioned next to the footbridge, Tony   “the machine” Brown plugged away with the short pole and maggot bait to claim second place with 7lbs 1oz of silverfish and Pat Newman at peg 6 landed two early bream and a couple of bits on the feeder for third with 6lbs 5oz.

For many others it was a day of toiling away on feeder, waggler, whip, pole, what have you without much success, apart from the odd small roach or rudd. On such a windy day it was hard to present the bait properly and the water in the first field was certainly not as coloured as it was further down, probably due to all the bream munching away in Gabby’s peg! There’s something to be learned here, if you want to locate the bream shoals, look for the coloured water.


Monday 22nd June 2020, 1st Evening Cup

Venue: Wallers Haven, Iron Bridge Upstream

A truly lovely summers evening with just a light breeze, clear blue sky and oodles of sunshine, the only things missing were the bream and tench. The eels however were hungry along with the odd roach and skimmer bream.

At peg 6 which on the night was halfway along the second straight, Gary Flint decided to fish with a pole. After struggling early on for a consistent run of bites he targeted the eels by fishing close in and near to the lilly pads with worm on the hook and chopped worm cupped in. With 4 chunky eels, several rudd and roach he romped to victory with 4lbs 1oz.

Next door at peg 7 Peter Stradwick chose the feeder tactic and landed 3lbs 2oz of skimmers and roach to claim second place, while Trevor Ramsden fishing at peg 3 towards the end of the first straight, fished the waggler to place third with a mixed bag of silverfish for 2lbs 12oz.

Due to popular demand, although not originally scheduled, there will be an additional Evening Cup match at Middle Bridge on the Wallers Haven next Monday, 29th June.

Arrangements as normal with the draw at 6pm and fishing from 6:30 to 9pm.

If there are any pleasure anglers already present it won’t be a problem as we will give them a wide berth and peg around them.


Sunday 21st June 2020, Southdown Challenge Trophy

Venue: Wallers Haven, Boreham Street

Now there’s good news and bad. We’ll start with the good.

The match went incredibly smoothly whilst keeping to the new guidelines in place due to Covid-19, mainly thanks to the efforts of match organisers Steve Izzard, Chris Copeland and Peter Gabbitas. Thanks also to all in attendance who acted professionally and stuck to the guidelines to keep everyone safe during these unusual times.

The new competition season has begun and it was lovely to see our mates again, some sporting interesting hair styles (thank goodness hairdressers open again soon) whilst some of the guys seem to have chomped on more pies during lockdown than others, say no more!

Now the not so good news. In a word the fishing was rubbish!

The river was at least a foot lower than normal for this time of year, had only a tinge of colour, didn’t flow, and to cap it all it was raining for the first couple of hours. Now we don’t mind the rain but it’s not great to get ready for the match whilst being somewhat soggy. Fortunately the sun came out later to dry things out.

With Steve Izzard doing the draw for everyone and the guys social distancing, it was amazing when he drew the peg everyone wanted, peg 1 near the willows, for his friend and work mate Peter Gabbitas. “Fix” shouted some, others, “the peg disc was up his sleeve”, whilst several competitors shouted things we really can’t print!

Peter went on to win the match and Challenge Trophy with small roach and skimmer bream tempted on the waggler for a winning weight 4lbs 3oz. Well done Peter, nice start  to your season.

At peg 11, just past the pumphouse bend, Phil Tichbon fished a combination of whip and waggler to land a similar bag of fish to finish just 1oz behind with 4lb 2oz. Several big eels were caught on the day, Phil having one in his catch estimated to be around the 2lb mark. Meanwhile positioned at peg 4, Peter Stradwick chose to feed heavily, his 10 balls of groundbait to begin with, topped up later, paid dividends, securing him third place with a decent bag of silverfish for 3lbs 10oz.

Others struggled for the odd roach for an ounce or two and sadly a couple of blanks were recorded. Let’s hope things are better in the weeks to come.

Remember, if you’d like to start coming to the matches we’d love to see you. Please check out the match calendar in your club card and on the website, whilst also checking the new rules and regulations relating to matches, including safety, pools and booking in.

For all the very latest info you can also check out the SAA Facebook at page at:

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

Print | Sitemap
© Jonathan Cook