Hay and Barley, Woodland View

May the 19th, 17 fished.

A good turn out of seventeen anglers today for this Wythall Royal British Legion contest, held at Woodland View fishery in Worcestershire. For this match we would be spread over sibling waters Hay and Barley; a pair of pools we book year-upon-year as they consistently provide us with excellent sport.

Greeny, antennae sticking out of his hat, preparing to peg out Hay and Barley…

Personal circumstances mean that I have dropped off the blogging a little of late, but after being inundated with two messages urging me to continue deep-shallow, I thought I should give the public (by which I mean my Mum and Dave Richards) what they want and continue with my banter-filled piscatorial musings – but not without a little help. Let me explain.

Not being a fan of pleasant weather or decipherable accents, I have taken the decision to relocate to Scotland. Obviously this is some distance away from a thriving match fishing scene so, a spot of fluff-chucking aside – or sitting it out for a huge Loch Awe pike – I won’t have a great deal of angling activity to write home about. For this reason, I have taken the decision to invite guest bloggers to contribute to deep-shallow, so that the fun can continue while I’m three-hundred miles away.

This week’s designated wordsmith came to my attention by sheer luck – almost choosing himself, in fact. See, Wythall Royal British Legion have a WhatsApp group, a place to organise contests, talk about rigs and insult some unfortunate person who is chosen at random, daily.

If you’d like an idea of the level of wit this group operates at, think of a fire alarm going off in an old peoples’ home at 3am. As you would expect for a group with an average age of 72, the technology sometimes catches members out, so you are greeted with a voice recording of Phil Southgate whistling the theme tune to “Heartbeat” as he makes his morning cup of tea. Or Big Trev breathing deeply into the receiver like a member of the Provisional IRA.

Worse still, spare a thought for poor Fred Reynolds, a man so lacking in tech savvy that he couldn’t turn his WhatsApp notifications off and, after a prolonged barrage of night-time messages, flushed his phone down the toilet to get some peace.

Now, the star (a term I use loosely) of this WhatsApp group is Steve “Foxy” Foxhall. He’s a laugh-a-minute type of guy, but it’s fair to say his English leaves a lot to be desired – or to put it in his words: “my England leafs alot to be derised!”

I believe that if you look through Foxy’s phone there is an option for ‘Unpredictive Text’ – also he has the settings fixed to ‘Professor Stanley Unwin.’ In fact, his English is so bad, it often looks like he has eaten a tin of Alphabetti Spaghetti, farted and followed through.

In order to make Steve’s infernal banter readable to those not familiar with Sanskrit, I took it upon myself to offer some support. It’s fair to say he was a little resistant at first…

Fair enough!

After taking a little time out for further contemplation, my offer of support seemed to be taken as it was intended: a kind gesture.

Still fair enough!

On the morning of the contest Steve took me to one side and said he’d like to be deep-shallow’s first guest blogger. I felt a warm sense of pride that he was willing to give it a go – and genuinely excited to read his report.

So, if I may take a moment to fill you in with the pre-contest details, I will then leave you in the capable hands of The Fox.

At 9am we gathered in the car park to draw, with seventeen anglers present we placed nine pegs on Hay and eight pegs on Barley. Hay has been the most prolific of the two pools on recent visits, so I fancied a draw here.

Into the bag of dreams and it wasn’t to be, although I was happy enough with my home for the day: one from the far end of Barley, peg 18. A good area, but I wasn’t as delighted with my draw as Pete Holtham, who found himself on an end peg at this venue for the fourth consecutive season.

Pete “Poker Face” Holtham – you’ll never know if he has drawn well!

Arriving at eighteen Barley and looking right, it appeared that I had at least four empty pegs to fish down to – surely some margin munters would arrive late in the day! Alas, my plan of a simple contest plundering carp down the edge was ruined when I saw Brian Cartridge trudging along in the distance, making his way to fifteen Barley. He had definitely taken a ‘long-cut’ to get to his peg, either that or he felt so proud of his new motorised fishing trolley that he took a leisurely, two mile tour of the fishery to show it off.

Enough of the preliminaries now, and onto the bit you’ve all been waiting for. Here is a match report, from a man who needs no introduction (but I’ll introduce him anyway) our very own Stevie Foxhall…

FOXYs Fishin BLOG!

At tenfifteen peta holtham called all in so I got sum. Maggits and through them in! Bang… foxy one fishy NIL. This Fisting is easy peasy 

Next I frew more maggits. Haha! fanstastic mister Fox two Carps NIL.

I keeped throuwing in lots of wriggley maggits. I got me eightpints. I ent buying blue pellits from Mike.Mason. only blue fing Foxy buy is DVD from dodgy geeza in KingsHeef.

More magnets I through in more fishes i catch. Soon be gettin a spoonsirship from Die-wawa or Preston invitations wont I!

Fing is.me not let anybotty see me catch the fish. I sneek them in mi keepsnsets. I’m sly and cleva an that be why they call me the fox. Also because I suntimes tear Open bin BAGS with me teef at night.

Foxy be catching lotsof fat carps now but so does Diddy Hamulton next door. He fish wiv a worm and foxy fish with a maggit. Mustbe a wriggle day mesays to Him but he too buzzy constrentating to here me.

On the Hay lake Granham Green catching nuffink. Hahaha you won’t beet the man they. call foxybingo dot com. Here be the scorebored Granham. Fox eleventeen Greeny ZERO. 

Down end of Barlie pool bignose Dan AIDS catch a few on pallet feeda. I am hoping he falls in Scotlandish twat. Foxy twenny fish nil. I am born to go fisting.

No camera on mi fone so me draw a pictcha of the wan an only Fox catching.ALL the fishes. Here it be it be.

Me Pictcha…

Byoutiful boutiful beafuf. lovely pitcha sure you agree. Bang! fox catching silver fish now, I get in to the Ginis booka records catching silver fishes one day. 

Gettin near.End of match now and I still baggin up. Throghing IN loads an loads of red magnets. Diddy Hamulton be catching next peg but i sneak my fish inta the net. Nobody even nose I caught becuse i do it so sly and quiet. Im sneaky and that be why they.call me the fox. Also because dogs love rolling abowt in my poo.

Foxy still be catchin lota fish, i means lots like godzillions Of them. One day me fish for ENGLAND or maybe Japan because when i am tired I look chinese.

Catshin roach and skimmy bobs is easy. Wrightin a blog is eazy. Yes fisting is easy. THE fox has the maggit and he dangle it into the carps mouf. he does love it!

Freefifteen now and Pistol PETA Holtham call ALLout. Fish on the Foxy does showt- what a brilliante day I had has had. Diddy Humilton did catsch lots,and I Tell to him you won mate. Hesays to me haha no FANTASTIC Mista Fox you did win. So I says no Diddy youdid win!!! This be what old peepul say at fisting matches, I not win you win, oh no me not the winna you is won. An so on.

Dan AIDS victim did catch sum on Peg18, villawanka. bryan and brainsy did catch nets OF fishs too. Granham Green catches fuckall haha, foxy did win you Granham haha. Soon we find out who is best fisher like Steve Rinker or Des Shit as Edw Swan come round wiv the scales.

That be why they call him the fox!

On behalf of Wythall Royal British Legion AC I would like to thank Steve for this informative and entertaining read. If I were to nit-pick I believe I spotted a spelling mistake… but what’s a misplaced letter between friends. You’ve done the club proud mate, brilliant stuff.

Back to the day’s events now and I rejoin proceedings at the crucial bit: the weigh in. We kicked off on Hay Pool, which had clearly fished a lot harder than Barley. The first three weighs after Eddie Swan’s 41lb were ridiculously close, in a line and separated by a mere cigarette paper were Joe Wood with 31lb and one ounce, Dave Richards on 31lb and three ounces, followed by Graham Green with 31lb dead. Astonishingly, there was only one other weight to better 31lb on the whole of Hay, Phil Southgate plonking 43lb on to the scales.

Top weight on Hay, Big Phil…

After this we made our way across to Barley, which according to one astute angler had “fished like another pool altogether” – I think you’ll find that’s because it’s another pool altogether! 

We started the weigh in with Papa Timms, who posted 37lb from end peg 2. After this though the weights increased dramatically, as next angler along Lee Westwood tipped 71lb into the onion bag.

We then shuffled down to Steve Foxhall and Danny Hamilton, who had enjoyed a ding-dong battle all day, with each angler claiming that the other had the bigger weight – a bit of kidology at play perhaps? We would soon find out, as first to the scales was Foxy. He had caught an impressive amount of fish, lots of lovely Ghost f1s and around forty pounds of silvers; a busy day’s angling and 107lb to show for it. As Danny tipped his fish (ahem) expertly into the weigh-sling, it was clear that it would be close, and after a little tallying-up by Pete Holtham, he went into the lead with a hard-earned 111lb 10oz – awesome angling.

As we made our way to peg 12 though, a stewards’ enquiry was called. Graham Green spotted a miscalculation on the weigh-sheet, and Danny Hamilton’s weight was abruptly knocked-back to 101lb 10oz *note to Pete Holtham: 69 + 32 DOES NOT = 111!

The following two anglers had also enjoyed a lovely time on the bank, with Brainy Dave placing an excellent eighty pounds on to the scales, before Brian recorded a fantastic 91lb.

After this it was my turn to weigh in. I had caught steadily on the pellet feeder all day, before catching some better fish down the edge late on. I believed I had around eighty pounds, so was surprised and delighted to see my weight called as 111lb 10oz – the exact figure Dan was given prior to being knocked-back 10lb.

Last to weigh in was Pete Holtham, with 74lb 9oz of edge fish; which meant I had won the contest. Truth be told though, I hadn’t fished a brilliant match, I had merely landed on a few, drawing a good peg for myself, in a favourable area of the better lake. To put it into context, some excellent anglers were on Hay, yet only two of them made it into the top ten on the day, this shows just how hard that pool fished.

The numbers…

That’s it for this week then folks, a tremendous five hours spent on the bank – particularly for those fortunate enough to draw on Barley. Still, one thing you can be sure of with the mighty Wythall AC is that no matter where you draw, or how bad a time you are having on the bank – or even in your personal life for that matter – you are guaranteed a great day out, some big laughs and excellent company. If Carlsberg made fishing clubs…

True love!

Before I go, there is the important matter of this week’s Man of the Match award. I could easily have chosen Phil Southgate for winning Hay pool from a tricky peg 3, or Stevie Foxhall for his excellent blog and huge bag of silver fish, but this week’s decision is a completely self-regarding, egocentric one. For his eagle-eyes and Carol Vorderman-esque mathematics, without which I would have been merely ‘joint winner’ rather than ‘winner’, this week’s award goes to none other than Granham Green.


Until next time…






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