Seven Petworth and Bognor anglers took on the might of Haslemere AS at Shillinglee fishery just north of Petworth. As normal the Petworth and Bognor anglers were made very welcome by Haslemere and a number of acquaintances renewed.
Shillinglee is a big water in comparison to our own and the major match target are skimmers and bream, although the water does have a good head of big carp, tench, roach rudd, perch and some big pike. Being a big water it is quite a hike to get round so some of the older or more infirm anglers were offered a ‘short walk’ basically on the east bank (car park side). Those among us who are younger and fitter went into the general draw. Of the seven Petworth and Bognor anglers only two had to do the walk to the far side.
The favoured section of this water is in fact the dam where the water deepens considerably, last year Steve Jeffery was drawn in this area and romped away with the match with other 100lb of skimmers and bream.
The weather was dull and overcast with a light breeze and with the threat of rain later in the day. Well we certainly got some rain together with thunder and lightening and there was one particular downpour when the rain was so heavy that you could not see to the far side of the lake, thankfully we managed to set up and have the ‘weigh in’ in the dry which is always a bonus on rainy days
The normal technique at Shillinglee is to fish the feeder at 25 – 40yds using maggot, caster, worms and corn or combinations thereof. It is also possible with regular feeding to sometimes entice the bream to a shorter line that can be reached with the waggler. Virtually everyone started off on the feeder but during the match people chopped and changed, Rab Butler even reverted to the pole for a while, although discretion was the better part of valour and he put everything down and had a cup of tea at the height of the thunder and lightening.
Top weight on the day was ‘Woody’ from Haslemere who stayed on the feeder pretty much all day for 27lb. Haslemere filled the next 4 places with weights ranging down to 18lb.
John Williams who also persisted with the feeder all day was the top Petworth and Bognor man with 17lb 6oz. Steve Simmonds was on the next peg and started on the feeder and caught one decent bream before changing over to the waggler and caught small skimmers and roach with the occasional netter steadily throughout the match for 13lb 12oz and second place. Keith Hughes was the subject of some mirth as he seemed to be spending quite a lot of time ‘adjusting’ the trees in his swim at the start of the match which prompted one of the Haslemere anglers to enquire whether he was part of a work party! Keith chopped and changed before settling on a small bomb over groundbait for 12lb and third place. It was nice to see a newcomer and P. Thomas did well for 5lb 9oz in his first match, although he mentioned that he had fished Shillinglee before.
It only remains to thank our excellent hosts – Haslemere AS for a good days fishing – shame they couldn’t do something about the weather!