PAUL Knowles was in shock after landing the Grey Mist carp known as Houdini at 29lbs 5ozs 0drs.

The fish didn’t fall for any well-known or homemade carp baits, not even from a baited-up swim, but simply it beat a resident pike to take a lure meant for the toothy predator.

On Paul’s arrival at his peg, he spotted a pike that he had disturbed heading slowly out from the bank and cast his Savage Gear self4play 9cms rudd pattern lure towards the fish.

As the lure sank out of sight the line tightened and his rod arched. He soon realised it wasn’t the pike and half an hour later his biggest fish ever lay in his landing net.

He's since been back to Grey Mist and this time he caught what he was actually targeting, a lovely marked pike of around 8lbs.

Meanwhile, Steve Roffey enjoyed his day session on the River Alyn, initially fishing at Hope for a dozen or so grayling to just over 1lb and one small brownie. After lunch he moved to Rossett where he caught a lot more grayling, best just over 1lb, along with small chub and dace.

Philip Brown tackled Appleton Reservoir, ending up with a scaley carp twosome taken on method feeder using pellet and particle mix.

Thanks to the Environment Agency Fisheries who have saved thousands of fish on the Trent & Mersey Canal by deploying aeration equipment to combat the effluent pollution. Thankfully the slug of filth has now been dissipated and beaten. Any info as to the culprit is more than welcome.

Eric Simms reports a short but productive morning session on Arley Reservoir where, fishing an open-ended feeder and double red maggot, he soon landed a couple of roach but then the bream moved in and he ended up with 12 fish, the best around the 3lbs mark.

The annual VS carp stocking has taken place, with Moore Quarry receiving seven fish over 19lbs with the best 20lbs. Small Sandiway was desperate for a common so a C6 fish which weighed in at 21-4-0 has been added plus a mirror for company. Big Sandiway received a boost stocking of 16 fish, eight of which were over 22lbs.

Thanks to the small but dedicated band of volunteers who turned up and got the job done without a hitch.

Ray Boden was the winner of this week’s Sunday Mersey Fur and Feather Prize Match fished on the Mersey Walk stretch. He drew peg 59 and started his session on a groundbait feeder and maggot but a change to pole accounted for the majority of his catch made up of roach and perch for a weight of 12-12-0.

Jimmy Byrne was the runner-up with 10-15-0 from peg 54 taken on feeder and maggot. He latched onto three skimmers around 1lb each to which he added 40 roach and perch. Twenty anglers fished and nobody went home without a prize.

Our Disabled & Over 60s Monday match was on the Bridgewater Canal starting at The Tramps Grave peg drawn by Dave Howard, who in what was a low weight match was nevertheless more than happy with his first win of the series with his net of small roach taken on punch bread and pinkie for 2-15-0.

Second place in these hard conditions which suited George Barber aka The Breadman saw him with 2-1-0 of small roach from a peg on the stick-ups. Seventeen fished.

Our WAA headquarters at 52, Parker Street, Warrington WA1 1LT remains closed on Friday evenings but members can post to this address or put their book or request in an envelope with their payment and a stamped addressed envelope, through our HQ door where mail is collected and dealt with most days.

Catch reports are always welcome. Email or call 01928 716238

Results: Disabled & Over 60s: 1 Dave Howard 2-15-0; 2 George Barber 2-1-0; 3 Terry Dunn 1-11-0; 4 Stu Patterson 1-9-0.

Mersey Series Match: 1 Ray Boden 12-12-0; 2 Jimmy Byrne 10-15-0; 3 Alan Faulkner 10-1-0; 4 Mike Dench 9-7-0.

Fixtures (Exact money only, Covid-19 match rules apply): Sunday: Mersey Series Match (members only): Draw 8.45am, Victoria Park, entry £5 and £5 optional pool. Monday: Disabled & Over 60s: Bridgewater Canal, Houghs Bridge, draw 9.45am, £5 all-in.