Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Annual Duckies Roach Classic 2011

Like many young anglers the place I caught my first fish (a tiny roach) and learned my limited water craft was my local council run pond. Located in Southampton the pond is a lily covered oasis, perched on the edge of the local council estate. Local fauna includes a healthy population of roach, rudd, pike and the odd wiley carp. This beautiful piscean ecosystem is supplemented by local alcoholics, teenage drug users and a raft of floating beer cans.

Any enjoyment you receive by landing a perfect little rudd can be destroyed by a drunken yob chucking bricks at the resident ducks. Despite these saddening diversions, we have decided to regress to our childhoods on the final weekend of each season and break our match duck at the same time - welcome to the 1st annual duckies roach classic.


Bait:          Maggot only, no groundbait
Method:     Float only, any other method fairly impossible due to silt/snags

Score sheet:

Roach:       1 point    Rudd:        2 points
Bream:      3 points   Tench:       5 points
Pike:         5 points   Carp:        10 points
Old boot:     -10 points

The match started with a late no show as Phil had to attend to cricket related duties despite the season being a few weeks away. Unperturbed by the reduction in our numbers Dave and I managed to secure the best swim on the pond and we gently cast our floats next to the raft of lily pads. In a matter of minutes our floats started to slide away and we were rewarded with a fine pair of roach.

This set the tone for the day with a steady stream of rudd and roach finding our grateful nets. Dave took an early lead and proceeded to hold it for the rest of the day. At any point over the course of the day I could have changed tactics, but this seemed somehow pointless, so I contented myself by casting my float into various trees that bordered our swim.

Phil popped by on his bike and sat by the waters edge, watching Dave swing in succession of stunted silvery roach. Phil's arrivial had the bonus of increasing the number of spectators by 1, to a quite staggering grand total of...1.

With this vocal support Dave consolidated his lead and I immediately meekly surrendered, with the final score in the first annual duckies classic 20 - 28.

The local pond had given us a brilliant days fishing despite the lack of care afforded to it by other anglers and the public. Local venues like Shirley pond are the life blood of the angling community and it is on waters like this where the next generation of fishermen (and women) learn their trade. I am proud that my license fee goes into the care of this water but I wonder if more could be done by the authorities.

The beer cans could be easily collected and perhaps signs could be put up to remind people that stealing rudd for their tea (as Dave sadly witnessed) is illegal. Not every angler can afford a season at the local carp syndicate so it is import that Shirley pond is looked after and incidents like this do not happen again.

1 comment:

  1. Oi, Oi for yer local pond..!

    Great work lads, keep it up...