Winter League Memories...

Arch

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I seem to remember it was only the winners who went through when I fished it.



[ QUOTE="The Runner, post: 2817098, member: 4588"]
Yes. Which meant the semi's were at the hardest time of year...
We had one particularly grim one on the Cam (Our fault for only being runners up I suppose, if we'd won it we'd have chosen the Slough Arm which at the time would have been much more even fishing, as well as being on the doorstep)
[/QUOTE]
 

The Runner

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Martin in all honesty, I've never been a lover of canals but West Drayton was the nail in the coffin for them as far as I was concerned. 💀
Wasn't the nicest of surroundings either. That same match I had one of the local dossers passed out under the hedge behind me all day. The only time he moved was when I opened a can of coke- he must have heard the hiss and thought it was one of his mates turning up with the Tennents Super...
 

Peter

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Wasn't the nicest of surroundings either. That same match I had one of the local dossers passed out under the hedge behind me all day. The only time he moved was when I opened a can of coke- he must have heard the hiss and thought it was one of his mates turning up with the Tennents Super...
:poop: hole springs to mind. 😂
 

Total

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Martin in all honesty, I've never been a lover of canals but West Drayton was the nail in the coffin for them as far as I was concerned. 💀
The Regents Canal, Limehouse Cut and the River Lea finished me off....:poop::(
 

alsur

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Didn't the winter leagues have to be done by Christmas to give enough time to get the two semi finals in before the end of the season as it was back then ??
Then the final was at the start of the next season, which always seemed strange to me.


As an aside, I did manage to win a round of the Soar valley WL when it had 16 teams of 12 in it. I think the SVWL was one of, if not the largest league going at the time. Good matches.
They definitely went into January this is one of the earliest Winter Leagues I fished

2AA35D68-CAD7-4FF3-B6A8-200131DCCEFE.jpeg
 

alsur

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I can imagine! Having to potentially fish rubbish pegs in rubbish weather is part of the reason I don’t match fish. Many a grim Sunday I’ve been sat at home thinking god those poor sods on wherever stretch must be suffering today!
Must admit I enjoyed them and team fishing in general, a few Gudgeon could really make your day.
 

Silverfisher

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Must admit I enjoyed them and team fishing in general, a few Gudgeon could really make your day.
Just checked this years dates and there’s 3 matches through October each across medley, channel, folly and donnington so that’ll be a bit more than a few gudgeon assuming the river is in typical October condition. I’d imagine the top few weights will be 15-40lb of roach and/or bream which doesn’t really scream winter fishing does it 😅 Maybe they should call it autumn league these days given it only just creeps in winter now it finishes in December 🤔
 

alsur

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Just checked this years dates and there’s 3 matches through October each across medley, channel, folly and donnington so that’ll be a bit more than a few gudgeon assuming the river is in typical October condition. I’d imagine the top few weights will be 15-40lb of roach and/or bream which doesn’t really scream winter fishing does it 😅 Maybe they should call it autumn league these days given it only just creeps in winter now it finishes in December 🤔
It's not the top weights it's the back ups look at Andy Loves weight in my last post then look at Kenny Collins
 

davylad

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I honestly used to love the winter leagues on the Ancholme, the river often fished better than it did in the summer.
 

alsur

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I honestly used to love the winter leagues on the Ancholme, the river often fished better than it did in the summer.
I got 81 pts out of a possible 96 with 7.5oz in my first national which was on Ancholme
 

Silverfisher

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It's not the top weights it's the back ups look at Andy Loves weight in my last post then look at Kenny Collins
Good point. Can get very peggy I guess so can be very variable weights. Maybe less extreme these days given they’re smaller matches but still happens.

Prime example was the match from which came the report below from last years league mid October. I had a probably mid teen weight pleasure fishing the bottom section the day before having should have had more and I knew the match would produce big weights along there and probably not much further up and it panned out exactly that way.

“The 3rd round of the Angling trust Oxford winter league was fished by 5 teams of 8 on the Thames at Medley. The match was fished on a river still carrying flow and a small amount of colour. As with last week the match was very difficult on the top 3 sections and fished exceptionally well on the bottom sections. It also produced a incredibly tight team result with Drennan Oxford and Rive A4 tying on points and section count back with Drennan Oxford winning on weight with only 4lb between the 2 teams.
Individual
1st John Price - Isis - 37lb. John drew 1 above the mud and had bream on the pole and then a open end feeder with worm on the hook.
2nd Darren Scott - Drennan Oxford - 28lb 4oz. Darren had all roach on the straight below the Perch pub. Darren fished 13m pole and maggot over groundbait.
3rd Martin Kirk - Rive A4 - 27lb 10oz. Martin drew at the top end of the poplars and had a big chub and roach on pole and maggot over groundbait feed.
4th Gary Pook - Drennan Oxford - 23lb 15oz
Teams
1st Drennan Oxford - 28 - (= section count back - 109 pounds)
2nd Rive A4 - 28 - (= section count back - 104 pounds)
 

RMNDIL

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They cheat a bit here by starting it in October when really it still should be called summer league given the weights then are far more comparable to the summer than winter 😉
Back then you had to start in October and finish December and the last round was the xmas round - bottle of whisky for section winners etc. The semis were usually some time in Feb and final 1st available weekend in June (with a closed season so no practicing. I can remember having to drive up to walk Tywford Farm as that was all you could do - look at it - until the day of the final). For the Oxford one we still had the Thames and Upper Thames champs to fit in in September and, weirdly, winter seemed to start then. The river wasn't the same and could be very clear. Very different - just look at The Vortex individual fished in September. 300 - 400 pegs and plenty of blanks. Chub fed from about mid September on, and increasingly so, and you needed to catch them whereas in the 'summer' you wouldn't see any (except parts of upper Thames and The Channel) It wasn't like now where September still seems to be summer. First match in 1st week October could be OK even at Carrotsham but it would still be quite barren for most. You just had to catch a chub from somewhere.

Weights now are MUCH MUCH better than back then. It's a different river. 10lb in 144 pegs WL got you thinking you'd frame in top 5 and 15lb got you thinking that you might have won (unless somewhere with a resident bream shoal).
 

Zerkalo

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We never did 'leagues' with my Junior club but we did fish all winter, including fur and feather etc, on canals, it was a very enjoyable time fishing bloodworm and joker for Gudgeon even if you could win with 1lb. Icebreaker matches were often called off early but we still went.
 

smiffy

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I always accepted that conditions could ruin a venue and most did I think. Had my section drawn for on several occasions but always knew the potential of the place.
Another thing to consider is the size of these matches. I would guess 120 pegs plus? Difficult to find a ”fair” venue that holds that many, that time of year. I miss those matches but understand why most moved to commies.
And Total. The Regents was the best venue in the South East in winter😉. Impossible to blank. What are you like😂
Understand the Lea👍
 

The Landlord

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We'd have 6 matches....

Two on Trent & Mersey at Marston and Barnton.
Two on the Weaver at Hartford & Newbridge
One on the Dee at Eccleston
One on the Shroppie at Ellesmere Port (bloodworm allowed on this one).

Liverpool AS always won ours....they had some cracking anglers who went on to join Tubertini etc.
 

Silverfisher

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Back then you had to start in October and finish December and the last round was the xmas round - bottle of whisky for section winners etc. The semis were usually some time in Feb and final 1st available weekend in June (with a closed season so no practicing. I can remember having to drive up to walk Tywford Farm as that was all you could do - look at it - until the day of the final). For the Oxford one we still had the Thames and Upper Thames champs to fit in in September and, weirdly, winter seemed to start then. The river wasn't the same and could be very clear. Very different - just look at The Vortex individual fished in September. 300 - 400 pegs and plenty of blanks. Chub fed from about mid September on, and increasingly so, and you needed to catch them whereas in the 'summer' you wouldn't see any (except parts of upper Thames and The Channel) It wasn't like now where September still seems to be summer. First match in 1st week October could be OK even at Carrotsham but it would still be quite barren for most. You just had to catch a chub from somewhere.

Weights now are MUCH MUCH better than back then. It's a different river. 10lb in 144 pegs WL got you thinking you'd frame in top 5 and 15lb got you thinking that you might have won (unless somewhere with a resident bream shoal).
Interesting stuff 👍🏻

I can believe October being hard some years but does seem mad for September to be a struggle given it’s one of the prime months these days. As you say it’s usually as much of a summer month as June, July and August fishing and weather wise now.

And yeah everything I’ve heard suggests for quite a long time the river wasn’t a patch on what it is now. My grandad always says it had not produced the number of fish that it has in the last 10 years since the 60s.
 

MarkW

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I fished around 60 winter league matches, starting with the Avon Valleys for Wareham for 2 years (I was league champion the 2nd year), 5 years in the Hants, Wilts and Dorset with Wareham (won three matches including 2 in a season), some appearances for Wimborne and Christchurch in the Hants, Wilts and Dorset over about 4 years then finally about 5 years with Team Castle in the West Wilts league (invited by Chavey).

That lot included matches on the Bristol Avon, Thames, Loddon, Stour, Hants Avon, Dorset Frome, Dorset Piddle, K&A Canal, Gloucester Canal, Dryad Lake, and various other stillwaters.

Some of the Dorset Stour matches were tough; one season saw 3 matches with 40, 60 and 80 blanks out of 120 anglers and one match only had around 10 weighers that my team won with 3 dace (3 seconds in section) for 9oz, that was won individually with a 2lb roach with 1lb of bleak second.
 
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