Thursday, 28 July 2011

That was hot!!


Had a morning tide session today at Sutton on Trent, fishing just off a big bend.

Met a  BS member who had fished the night tide with some success with a couple of doubles.
So I thought, worth a go though it is very bright and hot.
Plenty of fish movement on the surface all day, and loads of boats up and down, on a very clear and low river. In fact it's the first time I've seen strong weed growth on the bottom in 7 years, so it been a long far.

I put two rods out amongst a good carpet of hempseed spread over small area whilst the tide was stopped.
Despite various changes of bait, not a touch !
Loads of rubbish and weed coming down, including one dead belly up barbel, probably from Cromwell upstream!!

At about 2pm popped to the car to get a drink, just behind me up from the rock embankment. Some c.. captain in a pleasure boat came steaming off the bend and sliced through both my lines, any closer and he would have been on the rocks.
Good job the  baitrunners were on, as both rods and the pod  headed for the wet stuff.
I hope he finds a nice tangle around his props and two of Ary's feeders caught up in the works.

But, guess what? I've been lightening the bag load of late, and now take a box of feeders with me in the back of the motor. Not this time, they are on the shelf in the garage.
So picked up 'addock and chips, on the way home for an early bath.

Few pints of the real stuff in the White Hart tonight, and a quiz to put the brain to use.

The Young!

Little Billy and Lucy are only 12 years old,

But they know they are in love.
One day they decide that they want to get married,
So Billy goes to Lucy's father to ask him for her hand.

Billy bravely walks up to him and says,
"Mr. Smith, me and Lucy are in love
And I want to ask you for her hand in marriage."
Thinking that this was just the cutest thing,
Mr. Smith replies,
"Well Billy, you're only 12..
Where will you two live?"

Without even taking a moment to think about it,
Billy replies,
"In Lucy's room.
It's bigger than mine
And we can both fit there nicely."Still thinking this is just adorable,
Mr. Smith says with a huge grin,
"Okay, then how will you live?
You're not old enough to get a job.
You'll need to support Lucy."

Again, Billy instantly replies, "Our pocket money,
Lucy gets five pounds a week
And I get 8 pounds' that's about 52 pounds a month
So that should do us just fine."

Mr. Smith is impressed
Billy has put so much thought into this.

"Well Billy,
It seems like you have everything worked out.
I just have one more question.
What will you do if the two of you should have
                  Little children of your own?"
       Billy just shrugs his shoulders and says,
"Well, we've been lucky so far."

Mr. Smith no longer thinks the little shit is adorable

Sunday, 24 July 2011

River Kennet 20th & 21st August

 Barbel Society Fish-in update

The fish-in will be on Reading & District AA's Upper Benyons A section stretch (carpark bank)

There will not be a formal school just a fish-in open to all. with advice to hand for those wishing to improve or just gain knowledge of the water

Register for either day or for both days by email to

The inevitable

Amy Winehouse

The first of the inevitable's is the sad death of Amy Winehouse.
I think we all saw it coming, but it still a shock that such young raw talent should be wasted to what is no doubt drink and drugs.
Rest in Peace Amy, the best was yet to come


The next almost inevitable,...a blank!
I spent a few hours with Pete Reading, after another very productive and promising meeting of the Barbel Society committee. We were looking over, and fishing a part of the Warwickshire Avon.

We fished for about 3 hours until just after 7pm, but after a long day and 2 hours plus travelling back home for both of us, we decided that we'd had enough.
A slow moving river with 12 foot of water in the margins, tempted me to lay down a big mixture of hemp and dead maggots and fish under the rod tip.
We probably left far too early really, not a touch for me, and perhaps a liner for Pete!
Maybe a visit in the autumn

Will of Notts

Can't get in mate !!!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Off and running

Middle Trent

Managed a few hours this afternoon for my first proper barbel session, overnight  water level rise quickly running off.
Quite a turnout on a short stretch of river. And to think I don't fish weekends, so the workers can have a go!

Lots of knocks and nibbles on pellet & boilie, but nothing to be connected with.
So for the last half hour or so, before chucking off time, I had a go at touch ledgering lobworm down the inside and got myself 2 barbel of 4:6 and 4:10, both fighting fit and gave me a cracking tug through the ranunculus!
2 chub one about 2lb and the other 4: 2. Thought I would weigh the fish to get myself back in touch with size/weights.
I don't like using barbed hooks but needs must when the weed pays such a big part in the successful landing of the fish.

Cracking piece of river, I didn't take the camera, so no pictures.
A swan family of 7, cygnets probably a day or two old. Kingfishers were very active along the stretch.
Maybe fishing the Teme on Saturday/ Sunday

PS           ABF

Well done to the members of the ABF a tidy sum raised for a fine charity.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Barbel Society: Barbel School

River Kennet Fish - In

Unlikely, to be a formal Barbel School like the Teme weekend, but there will be experts available for advice/tips.

The Pope's River Diaries

All welcome.

Anybody interested in joining  on Saturday/Sunday 20th/21st August, it will cost £10 for a day ticket (each day)
 RDAA members free but must register.

email  to register at if you would like to attend, first come first served.

Further details to follow after this weekend:

Saturday, 16 July 2011

More reading time!

Home visit

We decided over the weekend to go back to Romford on Monday to an obviously suffering Mum, who despite her protestations wasn't sounding too good over the telephone.
Arriving early afternoon after a diversion around  a mobile crane turning over on the A14, it was obvious that she wasn't very well at all, and was in some pain.
Fortunately her doctor had prescribed some extra strong pain killers and anti biotic for the "water infection" and they arrived shortly after we did, so we got her dosed up.
Cancelling the papers at home, we had decided we would be staying for as long as she needed us, or  certainly at the very least until the end of the week.
So we fed her up, she hadn't been eating or drinking all weekend, kept her comfortable until her regular visiting nurse turned up on Thursday to deal with her operation wound bandaging.The wound will never heal, but will get worse, we are told.
Anyway, as soon as the nurse went she went into her moaning about everything mood, so we knew she had recovered......the drugs were working!!
When she is in her moaning mood we know it's time to go, otherwise we all start. So we decided to go out for a curry in Gidea Park and out of the way for a few hours.
Very good it was too in Zaffran's, a different menu to the usual, tasty and well prepared.
Back at Mum's we told her we were going home tomorrow, and so we did after replenishing her larder!


I took along 3 books.
My own copy of one to finish, after a bit of a struggle Barbel Mystique by Dr Terry Baxter.
I found it far to flowery, and I certainly don't understand poetry that has no rhyme!
At 283 pages, too long to tell story of one's barbel fishing over the years in my view.

The others were review copies from Harper.
Paul Cook's Lost In a Quiet World, which is about Paul's formative world of fishing in an estate lake until the age of about 15.
Not a bad read, but is only part of his story I'm sure, so probably more to come. I didn't put it down so it held my attention for a few hours
The next was Chris Turnbull's Reflections, all in all a better read, with Chris running through his specimen hunting days from Tench, carp, crucians and barbel through to his trips to Thailand and finally to grayling. Again a book that didn't get a rest, well apart from a curry visit. Recommended!

Both books are extremely well produced by Harper, showing off the artistry of both individuals in a good light.
The books are now going off to Barbel Society members for full reviews for Barbel Fisher in time for Christmas presents lists.They will then be made available for the Society's R&C auction at the end of October/early November (Details to follow in due course)

I am now awaiting my personal copy of Maurice (Mole) Pledger's book While my float's still cocked.
To be launched this Friday 22th July.
Mole's artwork
With Mole being on hand and painting at the CLA game fair at Blenheim Palace next weekend on Coch-y-Bonddu's book stand.

I'm getting back into this reading lark, I suppose it's the next best thing to being there!!.


All going well, I'll be on the middle Trent on Thursday for some barbel fishing.

The Avon Roach Project

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Barbel Society: Barbel School

Just back from a very successful Barbel Society weekend  of fishing and tuition on the River Teme.
 20 booked to be given advice and instruction, and 20 turned up.
A well organised and run school, this,  the very first, was on Dave Mason's Top Barn stretch. He, Rob Swindells and their Teme Severn team looked after everything.
One lad caught his first ever barbel, in not so perfect conditions, so a well chuffed individual and hopefully a new member of the Society.
Not seeing a great deal of point in going fishing and sleeping, for the first time I actually slept in the car and didn't suffer too much, even though I'm all for the creature comforts.May try it again to get the best of an early morning or the early evening without the worry of a few hours drive after!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Been away again

Just back from a rush trip down to Mum.We returned from holiday to find she is suffering some severe pain in her back. Doctor says it's her spine, Locum prior to that said a water infection!!!! So we await an XRay. 
Mum says(once again)I don't want all this, never thought I would live this long.
Off to the River Teme tomorrow for the weekend, I may move straight on to Romford afterwards to at least cook  her some hot food, any excuse at the moment not to eat, well other than a bit of of toast !!

It's that man again!

July issue Coarse Angling Today and two pages on Summer barbelling

Monday, 4 July 2011

Back again

Obsessive and selfish abandonment ?

We're just back from a week in Limone on the shores of  Lake Garda. 
Lake Garda is apparently typical of a moraine valley, having been formed under the action of a Paleolithic glacier. It is Italy's largest lake at 51.6 kilometers long with an average depth of 135 metres. 346 metres at it's deepest point!
Anyway, I thought I would put that bit in because I think it's  relevant to what follows.
As is usual for me on holidays where I have a chance to do nothing most of the time, I take books along to read.
One book in particular which I picked up to read whilst sitting on the hotel veranda over looking the lake,in the company a bottle of Chianti, was Jon Berry's 190 page Beneath the black water.

The room's view!

 I say picked up, what I really mean is, I couldn't put it down!
It took me about three and a half hours to read, my location probably helped.
The Chianti was quite warm by the time the bottle needed to be emptied!

Basically it's about Jon's, initially obsessive hunt, trolling for salmo ferox, over perhaps a serious three year period in the glacial created lochs of the Scottish highlands.

From sometime in 1997, he abandons friends, girl friends and a wife,he also mounts up substantial debts to hunt down ferox trout. 
He also writes about his on and off quest over 12 years, including fishing the lakes of Cumbria and the loughs of Ireland for ferox

Sitting by Garda it set me wondering, and this is where the relevance comes in, if such creatures exist within it's waters, it's certainly known for it's charr and  trout, so maybe?
Jon certainly describes the Scottish lochs in much the same way, except this one, apart from it's beauty, is far from the desolate highlands described, it is choc a block with tourists.
Even so my mind did wander a little whether people fished Garda for ferox

I picked the book again a couple of days later, and for the first time since reading Johann Wyss's, Swiss Family Robinson in my youth, I read a book again.Three hours from start to finish non stop.
So as you can imagine I found the book highly readable,  perhaps for me mostly thought provoking!
Whatever happened to Martin? I asked myself after both reads.A very close friend of Jon's who started on the quest with him, and suddenly, "I never saw Martin again".
It takes all sorts, and none of this is a knock against Jon personally, he admits it himself.
I tried to see myself in his shoes and to be honest I couldn't, my temperament is perhaps far from selfish, I certainly have never been obsessed enough with anything to abandon people/family.
Certainly not fishing!
Fishing for me, is not about one species, or even really worrying about catching fish, it's not life changing, well it shouldn't be.Should it?
Get hold of a copy, whatever your views on catching fish may be, it is a very good read

I didn't take my travel rods with me by the way, sitting on a lake in temperatures well into the mid 30's, although tempting,didn't appeal. Plenty of chub about, awaiting the tourist crust!