Is yours 12 inches?

21st August 2022

Claygate Lakes - Lake Eva

18 attended

A better turnout for this one, attracted no doubt, by the big weights a couple of months ago. It was not quite the same, but still a decent match, despite the complications of a half-time weigh in for fish welfare in the heat and low water level.

Ian Carley adapted well to the changing wants of the skittish F1's. From the back bank near the open water, he switched regularly from pole and pellet on the bottom, up in the water and a bomb to the far bank to keep the F1's coming throughout for a grand total initially declared at 95lb 12oz. A subsequent check of the complex maths (see results sheet) corrected this to 85lb 12oz. Fortunately, this did not change the overall result, but made it a heck of a lot closer as Craig Winchester was on the car park bank, roughly opposite Ian, where he had to go right over, fishing 16 metres all day up in the water. The effort was worth it though as he netted 84lb 12oz for 2nd place. 

Bob Docker claimed the near end of the disabled platform where he could fish in the deep margins to his left where the big boys live. Despite nearby day tickets littering the lake with floating bread 0or so he said), he still managed 81lb 14oz for 3rd overall.

Section A Sam Docker – 72lb 4oz
Section B Paul Harding – 57lb 2oz
Section C Tony Matthews – 46lb 5oz.

All in all, a really good and close match. However, we learned after the match, that there is a local rule for a minimum 12" hooklength under the float. All were genuinely unaware so no action was taken, but we will need to keep this in mind for future bookings. 

Full results

Blistering conditions restrict weights

14th August 2022

Gold Valley - Middle Lake

10 attended

A disappointing turnout for this premier venue, but having booked the whole causeway bank, there was at least plenty of space to spread out. 

Sam Docker was feeling below par, but still well enough for a convincing win. Whilst a 'struggle' by his standards, he switched between pole and pellet short on the bottom and up in the water, he managed 71lb 10oz off peg 72. 2nd in that section on peg 67 was Bradley Garner, who managed 54lb 6oz.

The lower section was a little tougher but Paul Oliver managed to snare a couple of lumps to top-up the F1's and put 47lb 6oz on the scales from peg 75. Phil Harris was on the corner peg 84 and came 2nd in the section with 41lb 5oz.

Heat exhaustion was commnoplace by the end - roll on winter

Full Results

7th August 2022

River Eden cancelled again due to low water

A 50:50 affair in more ways than one

31st July 2022

Passies Pond Match Lake - Back bank

10 attended

With another club on the road bank and the bunker bank closed for lack of water, we were confined to the back bank, which was probably a good thing. The owners are still struggling to manage the weed with big banks remaining on the far side and numerous 'clumps' around the rest of the swim. With depths of less than 2ft in most places, any fish hooked were into their weedy sanctuaries before you knew it and everybody similarly reported that they lost around half of what they hooked. It was a good day for the local tackle shops anyway. 

Because of the low water levels, not even allowing for nets to be fully submerged,  the owners asked if we could consider fish welfare so it was agreed to have a half time weigh-in. A very good thing in the hot conditions.

But the man in form, Jasper Stevens is just unstoppable at the moment and drew a noted peg on the bend at the end of the chalk path. He benefitted from a decent amount of weed-free water in the margins, where he duly placed his trusty paste. Catching regularly throughout, including some decent carp, he amassed a total of 111lb 15oz for another convincing win. In the next peg to his left, Phil Harris struggled initially, putting less than 10lb on the scales at the half time weigh in, but switched to paste in the second half for a much better outcome and finish 2nd on 84lb 13oz. Chris Slater was on the 2nd peg round the corner from the Bunker straight and is already a paste supremo. He caught all sorts on his paste and pole including big perch and bream to finish 3rd with 81lb exactly. Like most, he confessed to losing as many as he caught.

This is a nice venue with some cracking fish, but the struggle with the weed is hard work. Let's hope the owner's effort to clear it continue to work.

full results 

Stevens Clan dominate a patchy match

24th July 2022

Orchard Place - Lake 10

10 attended

On another blisteringly hot day, the few who attended were spread around the far side of the lake to keep away from the campers spilling over from lake 6 on the other. The Stevens brothers managed to draw both end pegs, in the 'arms' of the lake both ends. Most would believe that as a 'Silver' lake, you would need to be mad to fish paste, so it is just as well that these two are. Fishing pole in the margins with paste, Jasper Stevens managed a creditable haul of tench and a few bream for a decent winning haul of 29lb 2oz.Brother Graham fished similarly at the other end for 19lb exactly for 2nd place. Keith Harper was 3rd with 14lb 2oz  and Micky Biles making a welcome appearance 4th on 13lb 11oz.

It was pretty tough for the rest, averaging just 3lb to 5lb. We learn subsequently that we had pegged the wrong area and should have stuck to the car park arm! Typical!

full results


Cancelled for lack of interest

17th July 2022

River Eden - Chiddingstone

With only two booked in, the river likely low and clear and 40c temperatures forecast for the day, this match was cancelled.

A great day for the Docker clan

10th July 2022

Claygate Lakes - Sophie

15 attended

Again, due to absence, I have little detail on this one. Some re-stocking earlier in the year has changed things here a bit, with some massive bream now in residence. However, they seem to like certain areas and it was Bob Docker who drew the winning peg from the last match which once again produced the goods. He topped out with 51lb 7oz with his pride and joy Sam coming 2nd with 40lb 10oz. not sure of the make up but assume both featured some of the new resident bream and F1's. Most of the others had a reasonable weight, although there were a couple of DNW's.

Full results

Becoming a strange Silver Lake

3rd July 2022

Sumners Pond - Ribbon Lake

15 attended

I have little detail on this one but see from the results that the fishing machine which is Sam Docker walloped the field with nearly double the next man. No doubt more than a few carp in his weight of 60lb 5oz. 

Full details


A Poor showing but very close match

26th June 2022

River Medway - Barming

Hot & Sunny 25c - 4(!) attended

Not much to say about this one as rivers continue to lose their appeal for the vast majority of members. Conditions also were far from ideal with the river low and clear, full sun and plenty of boat traffic.

Everyone managed one bonus skimmer and a few bits with Jasper Stevens taking a convincing victory with 4lb 10oz ahead of brother Graham on 4lb 5oz. What can you say?

Full details

Right Man on the Right Peg

19th June 2022

Morehouse Farm Match Lake

Sunny Intervals and Breezy 20c - 17 Attended

A slight mix-up on what pegs were available to us meant 1 to 16 were left free for day tickets, with 43 and 16 effectively becoming end pegs. Dave Pearson (Pikey) is already a bit of an expert here and when it was revealed that paste is now allowed and that he had drawn peg 43, most knew they would be fishing for the minor placings.

And so it turned out as he emptied the peg to win convincingly with 266lb 15oz- a magnificent effort. Next peg 42 was another top angler, Chris Slater who managed 2nd place but a long way behind with 151lb 12oz, only just beating Jasper Stevens who drew the other 'end peg' and extracted 141lb 6oz for 3rd place. Mark Hathway also topped the ton with 102lb 7oz from peg 50 for 4th place.

Full details

Frustrating day for many

12th June 2022

Warwick Wold - Ozzies Lake

Sunny Intervals and breezy - 20c - 24 attended

Our most local venue attracted a good turnout in the expectation that the fish would be more widely spread than our visit earlier in the year. Whether it was the signs of spawning or whether it is always patchy is difficult to say, but it was very frustrating for many looking on as a talented or lucky few caught regularly whilst other areas seemed virtually devoid of fish. At least the breakfast was good....

It was Ian Carley who drew the noted flyer on the upper bank opposite the gap and where the fish were clearly already crashing around in the reeds. He made the very best of it however with a masterclass display of tip fishing, launching a small method with a small wafter into the same square foot of water close to the reeds on the right. Occasional casts to the middle of the gap produced only dead reeds from the bottom and to the left of the gap produced nothing. Once in the zone however, it was virtually a fish a chuck for the whole match and a comprehensive win with 106lb 2oz. 

The next two weights came from the same 'quarter' of the lake with Bob Docker taking 2nd overall with 51lb and Bradley Garner 3rd with 48lb, both picking off odd fish throughout, mostly on the pole.

Craig Winchester's renaissance back into the big time continued as he stuck to the method just off the reeds in the middle of the opposite quarter, to take 4th place with 46lb 15oz. The corn king, Phil Harris, a few pegs away was the last frame payout with 42lb 13oz.

Three default sections went to Barry Gusterson with 42lb 6oz, Chris Slater with 38lb 7oz and Darren Habgood with 21lb 15oz. Just to prove how patchy it was, even the young guns struggled. Darren was opposite Ian Carley on the lower side of the gap and their baits were probably less than 10ft apart and unbelievably, even the invincible Sam Docker was too ashamed to weigh in. That's fishing I guess.....

Full details


An unremarkable day

5th June 2022

Gold Valley - Middle Lake

Overcast & Cooler - 15c - 12 attended

Family commitments for the Jubilee weekend seem to hit the attendance at this normally popular venue with the whole venue very quiet. The plus side was the ability to spread out in the hope of a good day. It didn't quite turn out like that, as the cooler weather seemed to deter feeding up in the water and it was back to finding fish where you could.

Sam Docker was back in attendance and continued his winning ways. Pegged in the Middle of the causeway, after failing to catch shallow, he concentrated on the 2+2 line with pellet on the deck to catch steadily and produce a decent winning weight of 122lb 10oz. Ian Carley on peg 63 fished a similar match and was good enough to manage 2nd with 94lb 12oz. Dave Pearson (Pikey) stuck to his favourite method of paste feeding in the margins for 82lb 7oz with young Sam Tidmarsh earning a creditable 4th with 72lb 12oz.

Two years ago, these weights would have been remarkable here, but now and when conditions are right, 200lb+ has become commonplace. Maybe next time.... Full details

A remarkable day

29th May 2022

Claygate Lakes - Lake Eva

Sunny Intervals - 17c - 12 attended

With the railway bank filled with overnight carpers and the far bank full of day tickets, we were confined to the car park bank with some trepidation. Eva is always a challenge but where someone will work hard to get a rewarding 50-60lb, but traditionally the more pressure the harder it can be. No one even considered it would throw up the weights it did this day (or maybe it was the quality of the anglers). 

The three young guns, Josh Donovan, Bradley Garner and Darren Habgood were all pegged together in the middle of the stretch and all started long pole to the far bank and transitioned to fishing shallow with pellet. Throughout, there was a constant banter of who was winning and by the end, Josh and Darren had convinced Brad he had done enough. 

But the scales are the final arbiter and it was Josh who came out on top with a remarkable weight of 174lb 2oz, virtually all F1's. Just behind was Darren with a similar net total of 162lb 4oz for 2nd. The young amigos did not have it all their own way as Craig Winchester intervened to save the pride of the middle-aged contingent and copied the techniques well enough to take third place with 142lb 15oz. Again, mostly F1's and a few carp & silvers.

On the top end peg, Bob Docker was fishing a completely different lake. Not an F1 to be seen but lots of chunky, hard-fighting carp. He managed to land enough of them fishing corn around the marginal bushes to record 135lb 5oz for 4th place.

To complete the ton-plus weights, Graham Stevens stuck to his plan of fishing in the margins of his unfancied swim about a third of the way up. He managed 118lb 2oz. Far from being the forecast winner, Bradley ended up 6th but still with a creditable 116lb 8oz.

Even the also-rans managed 50lb + so it really was a remarkable day that will no doubt fool us next time we go. Full results

Big Guns Dominate

22nd May 2022

Sunmers Pond Match Lake

Sunny Intervals - 18c - 24 attended

You know this favourite venue was patchy when anglers of the calibre of Phil Harris and Martin Twine declined to be embarrassed at the scales. But it is Sam Docker who is proving unstoppable at the moment. Hot on the heels of Todber and his grown up national knockout the day before, this match made five wins in five days. Just a modest 276lb 11oz was enough for Sam to take 1st place with another man in form, Martyn Woodington not far behind on 241lb for 2nd.

Dave Hughes was 3rd with 176lb 3oz, Big Si 4th on 158lb 5oz and Chris Slater 5th on 91lb 1oz. This was certainly a match for the big Guns!

Amongst the also-rans, John Benjamin had a very happy ending to take the defaulted section with 82lb 13oz and Gary Toland the other with 51lb 14oz.

Click here for full results 

For the dedicated few

15th May 2022

Ardingly Reservoir

Sunny Intervals - 18c - 12 attended

The reservoir was almost at 100%, so finding spaces for the hardy 12 was tricky and a bit of a lottery when it came to where the fish were to be found. As it happens, they seem to have been confined to the shallower sections and it was tough elsewhere. 

However, a good day was had by Keith Best at the Dam end to finish first with 28lb 14oz with Martine Twine on the next peg coming 2nd with 15lb 3oz. Craig Winchester was further down near the pipe and found some fish on the pole during a short spell for 11lb 7oz and 3rd with John Benjamin managing 4th on 11lb 7oz. Click here for full results

New Members show us how it it done

8th May 2022

Orchard - Lake 6

Sunny & Warm - 20c - 16 attended

This was quite a squeeze with the owners restricting the match to just the spit and a couple more pegs on the car park bank. There were bivvies and even a marquee spread around much of the lake with 2oz bombs and PVA bags flying everywhere. Despite the less than ideal conditions, those pegs with features fished remarkably well and it was a remarkable demonstration from new member and venue expert, Jordan Briant who came out top with 229lb 7oz from near the top of the spit facing the car park. He started with pellet waggler to the island and finished up in the water. Another new member, Chris Slater was a long way behind with 144lb from the car park bank for 2nd, Josh Donovan agonisingly close for 3rd with 143lb 11oz, Barry Gusterson was 4th on his first visit here with 113lb 6oz and final frame place was Big Si with 112lb 14oz. Click here for full results

Not the nicest day's fishing

1st May 2022

Monk Lakes - Lake 2

Overcast with a light breeze - 17c - 14 attended

The match angling rumour mill was in overdrive with reports of massive fish kills on this lake, which put off a number of potential attendees. Sadly, with Spring being a tough time for coarse fish, there were indeed an uncomfortable number of floaters and distressed fish which is never nice to fish amongst. Whilst weights were well down on previous years, most had a few fish helped no doubt by the low attendance.

The force is strong in the Docker genes and without Sam in attendance to steal the fliers, Dad Bob stepped up to pull peg 66 out of the bag. Whilst apparently not a form peg lately, Bob dropped a rig in at 5m and had a 10lb carp in the net before the rest of us still had the whistle ringing in our ears. He added a few more short and then switched to a long feeder up to the marginal reeds to pick off fish steadily throughout the day and finish a long way clear with 80lb 9oz. Martyn Woodington was on unfancied peg 62 but managed to find a few carp on the long pole and down the edge for 55lb 5oz and 2nd place. Next down on 58 was Craig Winchester who enjoyed his 12lb odd silver net to which he added a few edge carp for a close 3rd with 52lb 8oz. 

The pools were split into two sections for each 'bowl'. Bradley Garner is another with a golden arm and picked out peg 67 where, like Bob, he was able to drag a few feeder caught carp from the reeds to win the far bowl an 4th overall with 50lb 11oz. 2nd on the far bowl was Martin Twine, close behind on 49lb 8oz from peg 88.

Fishing amongst the bodies is never nice and we hope things are improved before our next visit later in the season. Click here for full results.