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Witham Matches of the Past

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  • Witham Matches of the Past

    During the 1960s and 1970s the river witham was renowned fot the number of matches it used to host.
    Some times these matches were fished by a large number of anglers and matches of 400 competetors were not uncommon.
    There were many famous spots I.e Sandholes,Schoolhouse bend,Chicken run etc.
    Does anyone have any info about these times,old maps of the lengh,details of the draw locations etc,etc or any info on past books, or pamflets or literature etc that might give a insight on what must have been the golden days of match fishing.

  • #2
    Ken, my dad and I used to love fishing the Witham... cant remember the name of the pub the draws were held at but its right on Kirkstead bridge, couple of good pegs either side of the bridge as well.

    I would love to see some decent sized matches on there again!
    Simon Young
    Admin
    Talk Angling UK fishing chat and tackle
    web design Doncaster - Limitless Digital

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    • #3
      Sadly them days long gone mate.
      200 + for the big canal matches on the Leeds Liverpool.
      Massive turnouts for the nationals. Went to a match on local cut last week and a paltry turn out of 12.
      Nobody wants to work for their fish anymore. It's instant gratification with big weights.
      A new breed of match angler has evolved, welcome to the future of muddy puddles 20-40 peg matches and cloned carp.
      God iv'e just depressed myself. " Nurse pass me tablets".
      On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.

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      • #4
        Spadger - one of my main aims in running this site is to get back to the days of big, river and canal matches as I am certain there are enough anglers out there that want to fish them - they just need to be brought together.
        Simon Young
        Admin
        Talk Angling UK fishing chat and tackle
        web design Doncaster - Limitless Digital

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SPADGER View Post
          Sadly them days long gone mate.
          200 + for the big canal matches on the Leeds Liverpool.
          Massive turnouts for the nationals. Went to a match on local cut last week and a paltry turn out of 12.
          Nobody wants to work for their fish anymore. It's instant gratification with big weights.
          A new breed of match angler has evolved, welcome to the future of muddy puddles 20-40 peg matches and cloned carp.
          God iv'e just depressed myself. " Nurse pass me tablets".
          You can always fish the dog s*** , mountain bike (pole breakers), joggers, drunks, captain pugwash, infested canals with the other 11. Which can be won by sitting it out for 1 bite from a carp of the known flier. Or fish a venue that you can consentrate on the fishing and more anglers have a chance of winning (if your good enough).

          As a comercial angler i get to fish the rivers know and again and last fished the witham at tattershal bridge a couple of times a year i won my section with 1 8oz skimmer and the second won the match with 18lb of bream sat amongst the its got to be silvers or its not fishing brigade i didn't rub it in much. To be honest though obviously the section win was mind numbingly boring and i wasn't the one who blanked and the match win was only 7 bites 7 fish to win a 30 pegger. The witham is not a patch on its former self exept maybe the pike fishing around the bridge in the winter.
          Steve Davies

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          • #6
            I totally agree with DNW. I was brought up fishing the Witham, Trent and Welland. Brilliant fishing in the 70s, 80s and up to about the mid 90s. I remember a discussion in the mid 90s when these so called commercails were starting to appear and we all agreed that we wouldn't be seen dead on one.

            How times have changed, all these rivers died very quickly and most of the river anglers started to fish commercials e.g Edgar Purnell, Dave Daniels excellent river anglers who now fish commercials. If the rivers transformed back to what they were I would fish them. I remember in the 80s trotting a stick float down at the Withim bain mouth in winter and catching clonking roach a chuck. I remember the summer matches, if you didnt draw a breamy area e.g schoolhouse bend, Timberland, Reedy bay you could still frame with eels on the pole with double figure nets of them. I remember weighing in 18lb of eels and didn't come anywhere.

            The Trent, well what can you say, was a brilliant river. but has been in decline for years. Yes you can still pleasure fish it and pick your peg and catch, but put a 50 peg match on and most will struggle. Articles from the awful AT annoy me with headlines that the trent is on fire and then show a huge catch of barbel/chub from the peg by Collingham wier, taken by speci anglers who camp out to get the peg. Put a match on that stretch away from the couple of early flyers, which were also flyers in the rivers heyday and most would catch very little .

            I regurlarly drive over the witham at tatts bridge, drive down along the witham and there is not an anglerr in site, Why because everybody is fishing 10-20 peggers on the commercials in the local area e.g Haverholme, Priory, Moon lakes, Westwood lakes, why, because they catch fish.

            I am blessed that as i get into my twilight years at least I have the fond memories of fishing the Witham, Trent and Welland in there prime. I still have all my stick floats which i lovingly fondle every now and then, yes i know its sad but so is the decline of our once mighty rivers. RIP

            Comment


            • #7
              Steve.
              Agree with you on the state of the banks etc.....
              But don't you think that that it's because they have been neglected that the rivers etc are fishing badly.
              Lack of stocking and maintainance of the banks ? Water quality etc.
              Lack of anglers means lack of bait going in, so i personally think that the fish, instead of staying in one area spread out in search of food. I may be wrong, but there are lots of factors contributing to poor fishing on natural venues. I am not knocking commys, they provide a very good service by way of facillities etc. I just think they are too carp orientated for the best part.
              As far as natural venues go, you lads around the midlands are spoilt for rivers and the like. Here in the north west we have very few within easy reach and fewer capable of holding matches. It's a long journey to practice and then turn out for a match of a weekend.
              Last edited by SPADGER; 6 August 2009, 10:38 AM.
              On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SPADGER View Post
                Steve.
                Agree with you on the state of the banks etc.....
                But don't you think that that it's because they have been neglected that the rivers etc are fishing badly.
                Lack of stocking and maintainance of the banks ? Water quality etc.
                Lack of anglers means lack of bait going in, so i personally think that the fish, instead of staying in one area spread out in search of food. I may be wrong, but there are lots of factors contributing to poor fishing on natural venues. I am not knocking commys, they provide a very good service by way of facillities etc. I just think they are too carp orientated for the best part.
                As far as natural venues go, you lads around the midlands are spoilt for rivers and the like. Here in the north west we have very few within easy reach and fewer capable of holding matches. It's a long journey to practice and then turn out for a match of a weekend.
                If all waters fished well i would be back on the rivers, trent, witham etc as that is the fishing and enviroment i enjoy the most. However as we all know the trent is ok for pleasure fishing but for match fishing its no good and beside in this day and age you would be lucky if your car was still there and you also can get a few idiots who walk the bank causing trouble. I fished the canals around wolverhampton, staffs worcester, shropshire union and the fishing was very fair and if you worked hard a decent weight could be put together as long as a few pegs were left out that held carp. (my best weight was 16lb of gudgeon using a 1 gram float in 3ft of water). It is all the other things i mentioned that i totaly hated and therfore would never fish them again.

                So its comercials for me, any way sorry to hijack the thread i will say no more.
                Steve Davies

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                • #9
                  Have a look in this months angling star, theres a good write up about the good ole days on the witham

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                  • #10
                    went down for me birthday june 16th it was that over grown you could not get down to the river. locals are blaming E.A its a shame all that water and no access .private stretches are accessible
                    nige cooke

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                    • #11
                      the Witham

                      befor we all go misty eyed ,i seem to rememder you had to stand on a milk creat or be up to your armpits in mud, and have good budy to pull out at the end of the match.And it could be a right gruller if the match fell on the wrong tide,silver paper with a slow back wind a must !!

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                      • #12
                        Oh happy days like a lot of other anglers on here I cut my teeth on the Trent Withham Welland and Middle level it has held us all in good stead to move to the commies.
                        A few years ago when I was fishing with a national side and one of the young lads I used to look after and take to venues had never heard of a stick float and had only just heard about waggler fishing.He did not or intend to at that time own a rod or reel it was at that point I feared for the future of our sport.
                        As for the decline of the once great rivers I have my own thoughts about that one being that when the "Eco Warriors" started to get there own way and the temp of the water that was pumped back into the Trent and other rivers I would have thought that is when it started to go down hill as the water was a constant temp all year round so the fish would feed all year round and clap on weight.
                        I was fourtunate enough to have a book for the "Borrowash" on the Derbyshire Derwent and fished the big amtchers on there and had a few ton plus weights of chub on plesure sesions useing stake and mince and to get to the best pegs you had over a mile walk with all your gear but it was worth it.
                        Now who is willing to walk that sort of distance to a peg not many .I would if I could but now beimg diasabled I can no long walk that sort of distance or stand for long periods to run a stick or wag thru.
                        As for standing on a milk crate I used a Bread tray was bigger and did not sink as far lol
                        Oh Happy days
                        A bad days fishing is better than a good day at work?????:p:eek:[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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