April 24th. – 26th. 2015.
Participants, - John Alcock, Richard Bird and yours truly John Watkins.
The arrangement was that the Johns would meet with Richard at M5 Junction 24 Services then travel on to Clatworthy Reservoir in convoy.
The best thing that could be said about the services at Junction 24 is that it wasn’t quite what we expected. None of us have been there before we weren’t even sure it was a Motorway Services. In need of improvement would describe it but we sorted out a snack and drink each and set off for some fishing.
We arrived at Clatworthy just before 12:00. The water was down a little on last June, there was some sunshine and very little wind which made for pleasant fishing. The ticket at Clatworthy is a 5 fish catch & kill at the concessionary rate of £18:00.
Richard was first off the mark, a standard Clatworthy stockie of about 3lb which put up the usual cracking struggle. I managed one of similar stamp before tea break. After tea we spread out a little more and I added 2 to my total one being about 5½ lb. John also got a fish later in the afternoon. So not a bad start to the trip, my 3 fish tipped the scales at 11½lb, John and Richard had one each.
On the way to the digs we stopped at Wimbleball ticket office to pick up our permits for Saturday. C&R, take one fish, £17:00. 10% discount as we were staying at Holworthy Farm. £15:30. Not bad eh!?
Off to the farm, tea and biscuits, rooms, unpacking, dinner at 7:00. Meet other guests – Bob & Lyn, served - chicken pie, roast tatties and veg, desert, cheeses and biscuits, washed down with the bottles of pop we bought with us. Chatting and watching TV by the fire until retiring.
Friday, - traditional breakfast and on the water by 9:15. – Overcast with a threat of rain and the wind getting stronger. First blood to me inside 20 minutes, - it’s going to be a good day!! Then nothing for 2 hours. We were fishing at Rugg’s Bay on Wimbleball. Quite a large bay with a car park each side. We were on Ruggs Farm side so we set off to try our luck on the Bessom’s Bridge side. One more fish to Richard, the fish seem attracted to his ‘tatty damsel’. Another 2 hours and another move, this time we tried over by the Sailing Club. 3 more fish to Richard including one about 4lb. and one for me.
The highlight of the afternoon for me was a ‘last of the Summer Wine’ moment when all 3 of us put our bags behind our heads for an hours siesta on the grassy bank.
The lowlight was witnessing Richard do his ‘roll over come up shooting’ trick when the bank beneath him collapsed. Luckily there was a few feet of beach at the water’s edge otherwise he may have finished the afternoon in a soggy disposition. Richard had grazed his elbow but, thankfully was otherwise OK. Shaken not stirred! Plus 5 fish to his name.
Back to the farm, tea and biscuits, dinner at 7:00, catch up with Bob & Lyn, served – roast ham, roast tatties and veg, desert, cheeses and biscuits, washed down with the bottles of pop we bought with us. Chatting and watching TV by the fire until retiring.
Saturday. – The word was that Clatworthy was stocked on Friday so after breakfast we loaded up and were on the water by 9:30. I opted for the long walk round. Richard and John stopped a bit closer. At 12:30 having tried all the tricks in my armory and all the methods known to work at Clatworthy I went on the long walk back, fishless, picking up Richard and John, also fishless for a coffee break at the car park. With no cosy bank and it being a bit on the public side there was no Last of the Summer Wine moment so we set off on the last session of the trip. The 3 of us were in a line round the bay area where Richard and I connected almost simultaneously. Richard went on to bag another 3 fish, with his tatty damsel of course, by which time the Johns had called it quits and were having a coffee in the ticket office.
Back to the farm in absolutely torrential rain, tea and biscuits, dinner at 7:00, catch up with Bob & Lyn, served – roast beef, roast tatties and veg, desert, cheeses and biscuits, washed down with the bottles of pop we bought with us. Chatting and watching TV by the fire until retiring. I considered that it behoved me to introduce the gathering to ‘Britain’s Got talent’. Sadly we didn’t seem to have much talent to fill this particular episode, it was truly awful! Luckily I was quite anesthetised to the stick I was getting having finished off the last of the pop!
Richard caught 10 fish on 2 new venues. Not bad by any standards. John and I didn’t fare quite so well. Perhaps we should have bought our own tatty damsels into play. So generally not a great weekend fishy wise, but it was a very sociable weekend in very good company. As usual we were well looked after by Gillian at the farm. http://www.holworthyfarm.co.uk/ this year’s tariff, BB& evening meal £50:00.