In Memory Of Barking Bob The Maggot

Today was Bob Taylor’s Memorial Match at Snitterfield Reservoir, near Stratford upon Avon. It’s a fantastic venue, stuffed full of crucians, tench, roach and bream… but you might have to take our word for that as the fishing today was unbelievable hard for absolutely everyone!

We’re all sure the legendary Bob the Maggot was chuckling down at us as we slogged it out in this float-only silverfish event. It was a proper old-school scratching match and yes we perhaps should have all had some red squatts on our side trays in hindsight – Bob certainly would have!

All the way around the lake people were letting off woofs and barks in his honour! For those that don’t know, Bob always barked while he fished. In fact, once during an important team match a certain spoilsport put a rule in place which meant he’d be disqualified if he let out a single woof. Bob’s response was to bring a cuddly toy dog and put it behind that misery gut’s peg! So, it was very fitting that the hallowed Bob Taylor Memorial trophy was in fact a toy pooch – and a battery-operated, barking and yipping one at that! Never have I wanted to win a trophy as much as this one!

The honour of holding aloft this very special trophy actually went to Mike Bedding who put a hard-earned 9lb 12oz catch on the scales from peg 7. The Riverfest Champion and Shakespeare Superteam ace managed some quality skimmers and crucians on caster and was a very worthy winner.

Second place went to Barrie Jonas with 7lb 10oz from peg 12. The former tackle shop manager netted two quality bream in the first hour and then worked really hard to put a few smaller fish together for the runner up prize.

I drew peg 23, next door to my good mate and match organiser Dave ‘Stretch’ Armstrong, and we had a lovely nip-and-tuck battle. We both knew it would be close as he hooked his one and only crucian just as the final hooter sounded and played it extremely cautiously all the way to the net. However, the scales were in my favour this time as I weighed 6lb 11oz to take 3rd overall, while Dave scraped the default section win with 6lb 7oz. Let that be a lesson to you!

The other section winners were Paul Archer and Jake King, who both had 6lb 2oz, plus Bob’s son Joe who weighed 4lb 3oz.

I really love Snitterfield and it really is a hidden gem. It’s hard to believe how hard it fished, as if you came and pleasure fished the venue you could easily do 30lb+ bags and there are crucians literally everywhere! I’ve seen the disappearing crucian phenomenon several times on other venues and it never ceases to amaze me.

Despite the tough sport, it was great to see everyone fish to the bitter end. They were all rewarded with a very generous post-match raffle. A big thanks to everyone who turned up and showed their support. Especially Dave and Mark Butler for running it and pegging it out, Tony for weighing in and Leamington AA for allowing us to use their water. I must also add that winner Mike also kindly donated his winnings to charity, which saw over £300 raised for Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service at Warwick Hospital, which is where Bob was treated and also where he won a Roy Castle award for the counselling services he so kindly volunteered.


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