Doug Smith wins the 2019 Spring Somerset Festival


10 Nomads and guests enjoyed an excellent 3 days fishing down in Somerset fishing

at three great venues for our, now annual Spring Festival with matches on the Campbell pool at Viaduct on day 1, The Tile pool at the Sedges on day 2 and then Tealham pool at Lands End Fishery on the final day.With mini sections of 3 or 4 over the 3 days, the result would always be close with all to play for on the last day.

Day 1 – Viaduct Fishery – Campbell poolAfter an early morning drive down to Somerset the awesome Viaduct fishery was the venue for the first match. This is the main match pool at the complex. The match produced 3 tonne weights, 1st Graham Scott 159lb 5oz, 2nd Phil Seedhouse 142lb 15oz and 3rd Andy Mitchell 119lb 4oz. But the important section wins went to Graham Scott, Andy Mitchell and Doug Smith (87lb 13oz) Wooden Spoon winner was Rob Butcher. 

Day 2 – The Sedges – Tile pool After a evening at the digs with plenty of banter and a few drinks day 2 saw us at the Sedges fishing the Tile pool. Stu Thomson was the starman winning the match at a canter placing a fantastic 182lb 3oz on the scales for the win. 2nd was Doug Smith with 107lb and 3rd was Jim Gurney with 87lb 12oz. But the important section winners were, Stu Thomson, Doug Smith and Graham Scott, Doug and Graham’s both 2nd section wins. Wooden Spoon winner was Andy Mitchell.

Day 3 – Lands End Fishery – Tealham poolThe final day saw us all check out of the digs and head down to Lands End Fishery to fish their main match pool, Tealham. with one match to go Graham Scott and Doug Smith were level on 2 points each, closely followed by Stu Thomson on 3 points and Phil Seedhouse, Andy Mitchell and Jim Gurney on 4 points. So all to play for!The match was won by Festival organiser, Mark Birbeck with 90lb 2oz, 2nd was Rob Butcher 86lb 12oz and 3rd was Doug Smith with 71lb 2oz.Wooden Spoon winner Jim Gurney. As we all packed up and loaded up the cars and vans for the long drive home, the overall placings needed to be worked out. Section winners for the final match were Mark Birbeck, Andy Mitchell and Rob Butcher. The final results saw Graham Scott and Doug Smith level on points and the title needed to go to weight count back… Doug Smith aggregate weight was 266lb 5oz to Graham Scott’s 259lb 4oz making Doug Smith 2019 Spring Festival Champion…………… and the one no one wants, overall Wooden Spoon winner, Oh well someone called Pete

2nd placed at Lands End Fishery, Bridgwater, 90lb


This weekend I travelled down the M5 to Somerset to fish the 3 day Somerset Leveller festival, fished on 3 different venues over the weekend.I had a poor start on the first day at Emerald pools finishing last in my section of four which pretty much killed off my hopes of winning the festival weighing in just a few Silvers for 7lb. It wasn’t just me though as there were low weights for most anglers around the pool.

The 2nd day didn’t prove to be any better at Trinity Waters I struggled again. Anglers were catching well apart from the section I was in. I even ending up fishing for a few silvers in the last hour as I was a where that the section was fishing badly and the 8lb of silvers that I weighed in helped me up to 2nd in the section along with the one small carp I’d caught earlier. In fact only 4 carp were caught in my section!

I really needed to catch a big weight on the last match!!

So for the final day I really wanted a better result to pull me up the final standings. The venue for the 3rd match was Lands End fishery nr Bridgwater and probably more suited to me. The match was a level playing field as this was a venue no one had fished before.

I drew peg 17 which meant nothing to me. So I brought some fishery pellets and a bag of ground bait from the fishery shop and went to find my peg. 

On arrival at my peg had an island to fish to at 16 metres. I started the match fishing just off the shelf to the island in 2 foot of water as it as very shallow close to the island and I didn’t want to spook the fish there. I began fishing a fishery 6mm hard pellet and feeding the same and had a good run of fish in the first hour before it went quiet.

My short line didn’t produce much but then with 2 hours to go I began feeding the right margin with 8mm cubes of meat and when I dropped my rig in after 20 minutes my pole float shot down straight away!! I had a good run of Carp in the next hour before the margin slowed down and then my landing net broke after landing a 10lb+ fish. Luckily I had a spare landing net in my bag and I carried on fishing, just hoping to catch a few smaller carp as my spare landing net was only a small one designed for F1’s

I ended the match weighing in 90lb 11oz which was enough for 2nd in the match and also an important section win. This being the main priority as the festival was decided on small sections. This final section win got me into the top 10, finishing in 9th place. 

So after a bad start the festival got better and I finally caught a few fish on the last day! I just wished I’d got down the margin on this final match earlier. Perhaps I’d have broken the tonne barrier if I had. We will never know. 

This festival proved again to be a great 3 day weekend. Some good fishing and there was always plenty of banter in the bar in the evenings as all the anglers fishing stayed at the same digs for the week. 3 daily wooden spoons were on offer for the anglers coming last each day, (not me this year) as well as an overall wooden spoon. This puts amazing pressure on us anglers fishing, if you aren’t catching you definitely don’t want to win a spoon and have it hanging from your neck on a bright red ribbon when you have to sit in the bar all evening with all the other anglers! A festival that I always look forward to every year.

Far rig – Nick Gilbert NG XT 0.2g Jordan set up on 0.15mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with a small bulk of no.10 stotz’s 18 inches from the hook with two no. 10 dropper shot above a 6 inch 0.13mm hook length with a size 16 SLWG banded hook. set up on a 10-14 Freezee hollo elastic.

Margin rig – Nick Gilbert NG XT 0.2g Mini Diamond set up on 0.18mm Silstar match team mainline with a small builk of no.10 stotz’s above a 6 inch 0.16mm hook length with a size 14 B911 spade end hook. Set up on a Preston hollo 16 elastic.