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Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse Section Match          Report 2023 

Coarse Section Match Secretary 2023 Season Report

Another year draws to a close and our club members can look back at an enjoyable competitive season on Georges Lake, Tarka Swims.

We have averaged 20 match men fishing our evenings and monthly competitions, Weights have generally been very good, the lowest winning catch 15lb in January the best a 71lb net by Darren Polden in the July rod and reel match also Richard Jefferies had a fantastic 52lb 7oz in a 3hour evening comp in June.

The 3hour midweek evening average net was a very respectable 16lb 8oz, we had 5 different winners over the ten match series. Nathan Underwood dominated with his trusted pole and paste winning 4 matches, scoring 119 points weighing a total of 320lbs second spot went to Richard Jefferies on 3 wins 107 points and a total catch of 299lbs. The evening Pairs was won by Craig Lamey and Roger Ackroyd.

Our Saturday afternoon Junior competitions attracted 27 different youngsters, we saw all extremes of weather conditions over the five match series from monsoon rains, storm force winds, and blazing heatwaves.!! Brodie Allen won the series with 57 points, second was Ted Blight on 48, joint third Imogen Babb and Leo Davies. All our juniors caught and all went home with a prize and a smile!

Richard Jefferies has run a very popular Rod and Reel (no poles), series on the fourth Sunday of the month. Cost have been kept low at £5 to encourage more members to try a match, the format is to draw, then pick your peg, thus leaving the rest of the lake available for pleasure anglers.

Winner of the winter League was Richard on 60 points joint second Sheila and Cyril Found on 56. The summer league was won by Darren Polden with 77 points, Richard second on 66 and Steve Ashton third on 64.

Our annual interclub event against Plymouth proved to be another one sided affair Bideford won both legs for a resounding victory over our friends from South Devon.

I am currently looking at possible future team events.

The second Sunday monthly matches have one remaining, 33 different anglers have tried their luck but Nathan is looking favourite to win the league for the 3rd year running, Kevin Shears is in second and Paul Elworthy currently in 3rd spot.

I would like to thank a few people, firstly Steve and his helpers for providing us with a fishery we can all be proud of, I must thank our local shops for their generous support with prizes for our juniors I would also like to thank Craig, Warren, and Roger for their help during the matches but especially Richard for his help and support throughout the entire season the juniors, evenings, monthly’s and of course his own rod and reel matches.

I am prepared to stand again as your Match Secretary.

Martin Turner.

Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse Section Match          Report 2022 

Match Secretary’s Annual Report Season 2022

This season, at Tarka, has provided us with some interesting matches.

The final match of the Covid foreshortened 2021 season was the Christmas match, this proved very tough for some, Kevin Shears won the shallow section with just 14oz, but the overall winner on the day was Steve Craker with a Christmas Cracker weight of 34lbs. Eighteen fished this event on George’s Lake. The 2021 season saw Nathan Underwood take the overall honours with 87 points to Kevin Shears on 83 points and Steve Craker third place with 76 points.

Moving into our new season the first regular, second Sunday, monthly competition proved to be a dour affair, Craig Lamey set the early pace with a win on peg 9 with 22lbs. February's was another typical wet and windy North Devon winter’s day. Keith Mountjoy won this one with a mere 14lbs off peg 15. March’s comp saw the ropes off and a near full house of twenty-three , Keith, once again did the business with 21lbs.

As the waters began to warm April’s competition winner was Tiverton star Paul Elworthy on Golden Peg 11. Some of the shallower pegs were beginning to feature. May’s comp saw a name that will begin to sound familiar, Nathan Underwood had his first win with 34lbs on peg 13, Keith Copland second on peg 26 with 30lbs.

The popular mid-week series of matches also began in May; Kevin Shears won the first leg of our 3-hour Wednesday evening competitions with 18lbs on peg 21. Keith Copland won the second with 19lbs on peg 9, Mike Snudden won the third of the series with 22lbs, Roger Ackroyd took the fourth in the series with 19lbs on peg 6. Our fifth evening comp saw sixteen members show up and Nathan Underwood scored his first victory on peg 19 with 26lbs, just beating Cyril Found. Les Polden sorted out a winning method and took the next two mid-weeks , 25lbs and 29lbs, good weights for a 3-hour evening comp. Kevin Shears had his second victory of the series on the 29th June. Moving onto the last two matches of the summer series Nathan secured league victory with two wins on the bounce, scoring 124 points, Martin Turner came second on 113 points, Cyril Found on 86 points was third overall. Twenty-seven different anglers fished the league, the average net was 11lbs.

Into the summer and our Junior events began. We celebrated the late Queen’s Jubilee with the Thursday Bank Holiday junior match. Nine youngsters lined up on the afternoon, last year’s winner Thomas Scott landed 6.5lbs on peg 23 for victory on a tricky afternoon. Suncream, plenty of drinks and ice creams were the order of the day, fish were decidedly hard to come by.

A rather worrying issue was observed with small bream, other species and swan mussels beginning to die in quite significant numbers. The Environment Agency were called, and oxygen levels were observed to be worryingly low, we eventually addressed the problem by installing an aeration system but at a significant cost in fuel and of course fish losses. It became apparent that the lakes inhabitants were not happy! Fish losses continued as the water began to warm. Keep nets were banned for pleasure fishing and the ban remains in place. It would seem that we have lost all of our larger bream.

The monthly series continued with match assistant and vermin control officer Richard Jeffries landing 30lbs off peg 15 for his first victory of the season, Roger Ackroyd was second. Nathan Underwood took July’s match with 20lbs on peg 24.The August event saw Richard Jefferies win again with a great net, best of the season, with 61lbs 5ozs. Nathan Underwood’s paste on the pole has dominated the last couple of matches resulting in back-to-back victories and is now just edging ahead of Craig Lamey in the points table with one match remaining. Darren Polden won last weeks, November comp with 31lbs.

Mid July and a team of ten anglers representing Bideford travelled down to face Plymouth DCAC on the changed venue, Milemead Tavistock for our annual interclub event. Our top scorers were Sheila Found, Nathan Underwood and Martin Turner. The overall result went our way: 356lbs to 295lbs a lead of 61lbs. The return leg was fished on Tarka in August, ten aside, Colin Cherrington led us home with 33lbs on peg 14 giving BDAC victory over Plymouth 555lbs to 407lbs

The hot weather continued into a very dry spell; talk was of a possible drought. George’s lake maintained a reasonable level dropping only around 10 inches. The Junior events continued with 20 different children taking part, some great prizes were on offer and all competitors went home happy. The standout catch was by Les Polden’s granddaughter, Hope, 18lbs 10ozs of mainly small fish on peg 21, in just 3-hours on a Saturday afternoon putting many seniors to shame. Overall, the most consistent youngster and top points scorer was Imogen Babb who scored 40 points to Hope’s 35 points.

As the nights drew in our evening series was rounded off with a pairs event. Darren Polden and Nathan Underwood combined catch of 37lbs saw victory.

Richard Jefferies and Steve Ashton started a small feeder league which ran on the third Sunday of the month. Earlier starts and a walk off ensured that pleasure anglers were still able to fish, however fishing proved very hard when restricted to feeder and ledger only. Fish just didn’t want to be on the bottom, much speculation suggested that it was probably related to the fish deaths and low oxygen levels detected early mornings. John Lisle accumulated enough points to win this league. We are currently considering a rod and reel league fished to similar rules, maybe with a few away- days.

Hopefully the continued cormorant control and chalking this winter will help to maintain a healthier balance to the water.

Match attendances suggest that there is a strong demand for this form of angling amongst our members, I will continue to promote and report our matches on both our Facebook group and our website, our current booking system on the Facebook group generally works well.

On behalf of all those who enjoyed our matches a big thank you to all the work parties and Steve Bailey for managing the site. I must also thank Richard Jefferies for his continuing assistance throughout the year and Warren and Roger for helping at weigh-ins. A special thank you to Craig Lamey for his help with the Junior events, also those who boosted our Junior prize table: Quay Sports, Bait Tech, Tom Downing, Summerland’s Tackle and Martin Cox. Well done to Mervyn Beal for the excellent club website which he regularly updates, please take a look.

If you are prepared to put up with me for another year I am prepared to stand as your Match Secretary.

Martin Turner.

Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse Section Match Report 2021

Our match calendar was, once again, interrupted by the continuing Covid restrictions. October’s 2020 match was our last competition at Tarka for the year, fortunately we were able to resume running regular monthly matches in May of this year. A fantastic attendance of 23, almost a full house, met up to once again compete on George’s Lake. Paul Elworthy had almost 30lbs to win the day, which reassured us that the measures taken to protect our fish stocks had been successful. With Covid procedures in place we were again in a position to begin our Wednesday evening competitions. Kevin Shears set the early pace winning with a bag of 20lbs mainly Skimmers. After 4 matches new member Steve Johnson and ex-Bude member Nathan Underwood were forging ahead in the league. The matches were mainly dominated by Bream, Tench and smaller Carp, 30lb plus needed to win most weeks. Halfway through the evening league Steve had withdrawn due to family illness, Nathan continued to score well. Mike Snudden using a chopped worm approach managed to put some good bags together and 3 consecutive wins, the best 54lbs 2oz in 3 hours! We averaged 18 attendants which was great, and the weather was fantastic allowing us to weigh in almost all 10 matches without head lamps. 26 different anglers fished throughout the league; the final scores were: first overall Nathan Underwood with 115 points; second Martin Turner 102 points and third Kevin Shears 91 points. Our last evening event was our pairs match drawn top to bottom from the final league. Kevin Shears and Craig Lamey 52lbs 2.5oz were the winners on the night; second were Anthony Bentley and Tyler Scott with 45lb 2oz.

We were once again able to fish our inter-club match against Plymouth and District Coarse Angling Club, our team travelled to their water at Cadover Lakes, a very deep ex-clay pit on Dartmoor. It proved tricky and we came away with a narrow lead 34lb to 29lb. We welcomed the Plymouth lads back for the return leg at Tarka; 2 teams of 12 fished. Led by Kevin Shears, 37lb top individual, we won the day with a whooping 230lb to PDCAC’s 63lb.The other team event was held at Stafford Moor, where we took a battering from North Devon Match Group Pros.

Bideford and District Angling Club’s aims and objectives are (from memory) ‘to promote and foster angling in the area’; with this in mind we ran some Junior events this summer. By running these as small matches I had hoped to be able to introduce new youngsters to our sport and to encourage those that already compete regularly. Saturday afternoons saw some excited youngsters eager to catch some fish, the over 14’s group was a very close-run affair this year with Thomas Scott edging out his older brother on weight count-back over 4 matches. Under 14’s section was won by 8-year-old Charlie Hedden closely followed by Brodie Allin. We must thank Thomas Downing for securing 2 magnificent boxes of goodies from his sponsor Bait-Tech, Summerland tackle for their generous support with prizes and Mervyn Beal for supplying the engraved medals.

As our monthly senior competitions continued to attract 20+ anglers the catches began to be dominated more by Carp, although Skimmers, Bream, Roach, Tench and Crucians always featured in the nets.

Currently, with 2 matches remaining, Kevin Shears and Nathan Underwood are tied for the lead with 77 points. Les Polden third on 59 points and a late run of 2 wins, has pushed Steve Craker up to fourth with 51 points.

As I write the ropes are being placed across the lake to protect our stock from cormorant attack throughout the winter months. Pegs will therefore be limited but I hope to be able to run the remaining matches on Tarka.

In conclusion the lake has fished exceptionally well this year, with great attendances and excellent bags being brought to the scales. All species seem to be thriving, particularly the Tench and Crucians. Hopefully if we can remain vigilant over the winter period we can look forward to a bumper, FULL season next year.

Obviously, I cannot conclude my report without expressing my thanks to Steve Bailey and all those who have made it possible for us to fish at Tarka. 

Martin Turner

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