Saturday, 30 April 2011

What about me?

Not a lot!

It's been a very busy couple of weeks or so for me, visits to mum, and in particular there's the summer issue of Barbel Fisher to put out, preparing for a committee meeting in Worcester next week, and also being involved with organising the annual Barbel Show on the 5th June.The things we do for love!!
Having been inundated with articles, I have a view I may have to save a couple at least, for the Winter issue.
It has also become more obvious, that many fishing related companies are not finding it too good at the moment, so trying to book advertising is a bit too much like hard work.
No matter what was said about Fish 'n' Tips it's tough out there!
Looking on the bright side, which I always do, this leaves more space for members articles. Although there is temptation to go down the sponsored article route, with all it's associated product placement, (have a look at this month's Coarse Angling Today letters page)
I can't see that ever happening,  after all, it would make Barbel Fisher just like all the rest.


I've not had a chance to fish for a while, mind you as I get older, sitting into a cold north easterly wind, which we've had for the last few days, doesn't make fishing come high on my list of priorities, but it makes an easy excuse.
Anyway the close season on rivers gives all of us a chance to replenish our minds for the season to come.
After all you can have too much of a good I'm told.
My pb tench of 6lb13ozs 2001
I had never fished for tench until June 16th before the changes to the close season, so plenty to do for the next 6 weeks or so, without worrying myself like so many do, about what they get for their measly £27 donation to governments coffers!!
I do have trip to Clattercote lined up with the Fishing Magic crew on the 14th May to look forward to though.
A great day out with a good bunch.


Having demolished and disposed of all of the climbers damaged in the winter, I did leave the roots in place, let them rot I thought, too much like hard work digging them out...that age thing again!
Anyway, signs of life from two areas and a buddleja, sees the purse only being stretched by the beer wine and spirit stock replenishment at the moment.
 I do like the look at that dandelion remover thingy though, our gardens are inundated with them this year as are the roadside verges.They must like the cold!
Started my veggie plots with spuds in bags,courgettes, tomatoes and peppers. Pulled up the lettuces that survived the winter freeze, the pigeons had found them anyway, they will be replaced when the soil warms up just a tad more, and any chance of a frost has gone.

Bird life

The Chinese pheasant is once again a visitor to the garden, he obviously has dodged the shoot, and has a drab mate in tow.He's a big bird and may not survive until the next shoot!
Blackbird ,wood pigeon and collared dove are nesting in the hedge on the roadside of the house, and our great tits have returned to the same box as last year. Checked yesterday five or six eggs, I didn't hang about to get a true count just in case, and won't look again.
Swallows over the house on the 21st April and still around, although I've not seen the martins, or heard the cuckoo yet.


What a season in the Premier league, not a great deal between any of the teams.
A few wobbly moments with Fulham, have been relieved by a couple of superb 3-0 wins, one of which, today's, was only the second away win this season.
Another year of edge of seat football for the supporters.
Fingers crossed for QPR, looks like one in and one out, still it'll mean Tottenham will have the Olympic Stadium to themselves.
Well done Roy Hodgson for rescuing WBA, he never stood a chance at the 'pool!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Barbel Society: National spawning survey 2011

Year Three

The Barbel Society is spearheading a national survey of barbel spawning sites on UK rivers. The purpose of the survey is to gather data on the dates and times of barbel spawning activity, and to build a central national register of barbel spawning sites in order to improve our understanding of barbel recruitment factors, as well as to enable better protection of those sites.
The survey will continue in the long term, and provide data to indicate any patterns or changes in spawning behaviour.
Historical and anecdotal information is also valuable, as long as a reliable estimate of date can be supplied.

Your contact details; name/ tel/ address (CONFIDENTIAL)
Name of river
Name of stretch/nearest town
Brief description of site; eg 100 metres upstream of weir, left bank
Grid reference
Controlling club/riparian owner
River conditions, high/low/clear/coloured etc.
Sizes and numbers of fish observed
Duration of activity
Any other comments

Angling clubs, riparian owners and individual anglers are invited to contribute to the survey. Anglers should ensure they have permission from controlling clubs/landowners to be present on the river bank.
The information received will remain confidential to the BS and EA, especially specific locations, but the general conclusions will eventually be shared as much as possible.
Please ensure your observations of spawning fish do not disturb them in anyway.

This form is available on-line to complete at
Or, please send it by post in a sealed envelope marked SURVEY  to :

 The Barbel Society 8 Bain Rise Market Rasen LN8 6LF 

Good ol' close season

Last May
Last May

Garden revisited

Whilst it hasn't mattered too much to me with my fishing expeditions somewhat curtailed this past year or so.
 I have been reminded of why the close season was an opportune time to take a break from fishing, before the rules were relaxed for still waters. Loads of of work to do.

This winter had quite a devastating effect on my garden as alluded too previously.
We lost well established shrubs, from the mahonia, some of our clematis and various honeysuckle plants, through to our 3 butterfly bushes(buddleja).
I have to say I won't miss the buddleja too much, because they were a high maintenance shrub, but I will miss the hoards of butterflies that took advantage of their nectar. So I shall replace them, but they will not flower enough this year if at all.Plenty of seedlings growing in the path cracks.


The climbing shrubs will also be replaced as they did make effective barriers between our separate sections of the garden, bare trellis is not a favourite of mine.
Anyway, as a result of this substantial green waste was accumulated and we only get one bin a fortnight which didn't start until a fortnight ago regular trips were needed to the tip.I'm not a fan of burning it, and I'm sure my neighbours would rather I didn't too.
Just now

One very good affect was that the grapes survived and are currently bursting into leaf, maybe a freezing winter will help our harvest to improve on last year, well it will if we beat the birds to it!!
Talking of birds, another knock on effect is that the garden is bereft of nesting sites,with the exception of one of our boxes which a pair of great tits have built a nest.The hawthorn and elder hedge on the rear boundary is also now thickening up so perhaps that will get  more use than usual. The woodies and collared doves appear to be almost resident in there at the moment, along with hoards of house sparrow..
We still have many visitors as a result of a constant supply of seed and peanuts, but the disappearance of the greenfiches from dozens of pairs down to just a single pair is very noticeable. What it may have done though is encouraged the goldfinch to the garden, a very welcome new sight and sound..

We lost all of our rudd out of the pond and our resident frog,all were found after the ice had melted, the frog despite easy access to and from the pond didn't move fast enough in our registered minus 20 on a couple of days.  The pond is also very low at the moment, due to long term lack of rain, so another job to do tidying that up..the Canadian pond weed and lily have thrived!

That's my lot, jobs done for today, so off out to that waiting chair, with a bottle or two of Marston's Pedigree to warm me up for quiz night at the local, and his row of 4 micro brewery ales for me to try.
Happy birthday Maj!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Is it a week already?


Another chance to fish the pond today, I was intending to do a late afternoon session, but decided it was better to remove myself from the house!!

Packed the kit in the front seat of the car, the boot was full with dead shrubbery, and the back seat had one of my water butts,ruptured during the freeze, and also filled with the shrubbery.
So a call into the council tip at Louth on my way to North Somercotes and the pond, was the first priority.

Job done and on my way to Pigeon Cottage,
in my hunt for the elusive "BIG" perch and roach.
arrived at about 11am my baits red maggots, worms and prawns.
The last time I fished here the successful bait was prawns, the worms didn't get a nudge.
Set myself up in a swim with a reed bed to the right side reaching two thirds of the way to the island a north west wind in my face.
Decided to fish prawn within a rod length, in about 7 foot of water, and set up about a foot overdepth.
Nothing for the first hour after droppering about a pint of red maggots and some chopped lobs,so I switched to lobworm head and immediately was into a tench of about 2lb quickly followed by a mirror carp of about 4lb, similar in colouration to the last visits fish.
Maintained a constant stream of droppered baits throughout the day, switching between prawn and worm regularly, and ended up with 10 tench of no more than 2lb a piece and 3 more mirror carp, that did in fact mirror each other in colouration, the biggest being 7lb. A bonus rudd of about a pound took some liking to a lob tail.
All in all a fun day's fishing, but that north westerly became chillier and chillier as the afternoon wore on so it was good to get back to the motor and back to the chilled house!

Duz tha speak Yorkshire ? (two)

A Yorkshireman’s wife dies and the widower decides that her headstone should have the words 
"She were thine" engraved on it.
He calls the stone mason, who assures him that the headstone will be ready a few days after the funeral.
True to his word the stone mason calls the widower to say that the headstone is ready and would he like to come and have a look.
When the widower gets there he takes one look at the stone to see that it's been engraved

 "She were thin".
He explodes: "'ells bells man, you've left the bloody "e" out, you've left the blood y"e" out!" 

The stone mason apologises profusely and assures the poor widower that it will be rectified the following morning.
Next day comes and the widower returns to the stone mason: "There you go sir, I've put the "e" on the stone for you".
The widower looks at the stone and then reads out aloud: "E, she were thin". 

Bloke from Barnsley with piles asks chemist "Nah then lad, does tha sell arse cream?"
Chemist replies "Aye, Magnum or Cornetto"?

Talking of Yorkshiremen

Well short ones........seems to be going out of his way to try and affect the Society's business!

My IP address by the way is 192.168.1.*** !!