For many anglers, especially those who take their places within the seasonal winter league matches at this time of year, autumn always offers a sense of stillness that uniquely holds that special insight and perception of what the countryside and angling is all about.
Dark, damp and silent except for the gatecrashing fireworks, a day out fishing in autumn can easily be described as eerily magical.
Thoughts brought to mind as my own personal memories fondly reflect back to the still thriving winter league, that was launched last weekend out on the Wigan DAA lengths of the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Heaton’s Bridge.
With 10 very strong match squads from all over the North West trudging these leafy lengths looking for the best of their ten peg sections, it was Maver Northwest who took the top honours in this one, a match that was perfectly dominated by small roach catches.
Maver took just 37 points with Rochdale second with 42 points followed by Liverpool AS who took a very creditable third on 48.
Phil Walters, with a super roach catch on hemp for 12.12.12, and Jimmy Jeffers, with 6.4.0 on bread, both took section wins for Liverpool.
Still on the canal, Merseyside anglers again paid tribute to another stalwart and a much respected angler of our era Bobby Reynolds.
Bobby was much loved by everyone in Liverpool and fittingly this one was taken and to be cherished by not only a fellow Mersey Dockers club member but by someone who once travelled to many venues with him, Kenny Smith.
Pegged out at the Saracens Head at Halsall, roach and bream were again a targeted species with the canal very much in form out here in the sticks.
Admittedly drawing well on the early boats near the pub, Smith put together a class performance taking 15.6.0 of bream and skimmers to lift this coveted trophy.
On the Mersey the second round of the Sefton Sea Anglers Winter League took place last Saturday evening.
After considering the windswept promenade marked out at Otterspool, a change of venue was carefully put into action that saw the wind coming over the backs of anglers then placed on the Wallasey Town Hall Steps.
With the river producing plenty of sport at present this was always going to be a close one with whiting, dabs and flounder seeing everyone making plenty of bites with 306 fish taken.
Birkenhead’s Mark Allanson took the best of the action, resulting in him taking 34 fish for 539 points.
Second place went to John Belger with 41 fish for 520 points, followed by Wallasey rod Martin Bleasedale on the ‘golden peg’ who took 33 fish for 464 points.
Moreton’s Guy Wynstanley took 29 fish for 434 and rounding off the top five was Liverpool’s Steve Moffatt who took 390 points with his 29 fish.
Moffat took the longest flat fish, a flounder for 29cm.
Carr Mill Dam was the host of a Golden Rod Feeder Championship Qualifier on Sunday that saw 60 top ‘tip’ men putting themselves forward to push for three qualifying places in this prestigious national competition.
Once again the good lady produced some quality sport that saw some terrific double figure weights of skimmers and bream taken in this feeder only event.
Top of the shop once again was Garswood rod Richard Pennington.
Pennington took the best of the top five weights on the day which where all on the sunnies from his draw on peg 90, which saw him take 19.8.0 of bream at 60 metres.