2010 Late April Blog

Move Along Folks, No Fishing Here…

If you’re wondering why there have been no updates on the site for a few weeks or why I’ve not responded to any emails it’s because I’ve been stranded in the Caribbean patiently waiting for a flight home. It’s a tough life, isn’t it? But now I’m back and desperate to go fishing.

But not before I share my latest amazing discovery with you. I had no idea that there was a range of products in the USA called Bob The Fish, the fish with attitude. Talk about a marriage made in heaven. It’s like a man with three hands discovering a woman with three breasts!

Do click the link and have a look at the site. And of course, it would be rude of me not to feature these shirts in upcoming blogs, wouldn’t it! I’ll be wearing my favourite one at the Barbel Show.

In my absence I had to hope that no stupid comments were left on the site. It’s dead easy to filter them out when I’m around but it’s the last thing on your mind if you’re on honeymoon. Fortunately the only really daft comment was left by Graham Elliott, namely, “Anyway, as the site seems appreciated mainly by people interested in football (the one or two who post per blog efort) I’ll let you get on”.

A rather condescending viewpoint to which he’s perfectly entitled to hold and if I say so myself, quite polite compared with his previous efforts.

But let’s just consider his sentiment and where he’s coming from. Graham isn’t forced to read this blog. He actively has to type in a link or, most likely, find it in his favourites to come here. When he arrives it costs him not one penny to view and he can leave whenever he wants. If he prefers he can ignore it completely and stay away. So, is it for him to dictate the content or direction? Or would he be better to spend his time elsewhere and keep his nose out of my business? If he did that he would never be mentioned here, would he? And there’s the rub. 

It’s not a complaint from Graham, it’s a cry for attention. He wants to be noticed. So why doesn’t he do something constructive for once? Perhaps he could become a fellow blogger? Or maybe he could freely share his immense knowledge through the media? Make DVDs, do a bit of TV…, show us all how it’s done by an expert.

Somehow I don’t see it happening, do you?

And he’ll be back. Of that you can be certain.

Meanwhile I shall continue to share my views and thoughts on matters wide and various in this blog. It’s my blog, not Graham’s. I will continue to include humour, art, music, photography, news, observations, insights, football and life in general because there’s far more to life than fishing.

Indeed if you prefer to read only about my fishing exploits buy a copy of Improve Your Coarse Fishing magazine where you will indeed find Bob Roberts’ (fishing) Diary. It’s not the biggest selling fishing publication in Europe by accident, you know.

Alternatively you can buy Coarse Fisherman magazine where I write solely on fishing matters. Or you can purchase one of my many DVDs, or you can join one of my Fishing Schools. However, to enjoy any of these you have to part with a small amount of money.

For those who want everything for free then there’s this site and if you click around you’ll find well over 100 articles and that number increases as and when I have time. Now judging by the fabulous and heartfelt feedback I get I’d say the vast majority of folk enjoy the site. In fact almost everyone except Graham Elliott, that is. He’s never happy unless he’s having a dig and seems to believe that web traffic is measured by the number of folk who post messages beneath each blog post.

Well, Graham, it ain’t. Nor is it measured by the hundreds of individuals who have used the site facility to ask for advice privately, or the thousands who have responded via the addresses given out to our mail order customers.

Just give it up Graham. I’ve given you every opportunity to prove you’re not a liar by stating where I have ever recommended ‘filling it in’for barbel. You’ve failed to come up with a single shred of evidence to support the lies you broadcast. All we get is more innuendo and subterfuge, patronism and insults.

Do me and everyone else a favour, will you? Please go away.

Bad News Jan

Did you know that Jan Porter ‘the camou man’ is banned from various parts of the world? Bet he doesn’t know, either!

Apparently you are not allowed to wear camou clothing on the majority of Caribbean islands and you are likely to be arrested if you do. Good job I left the Realtree gear at home!

As for Jan, he could always go naked…

Now that’s a thought you didn’t need, eh?

Exclusive – See It Here First!

Well, the wait is almost over. Those with eagle eyes may already have noticed the featured video on the right hand side of each page has been replaced with a teaser for the full set of Barbel Days And Ways DVDs.

To those who’ve been mailing and asking when they can get hold of a copy of the next two films, please be patient, they’re finished, pressed, in the warehouse and will be placed on sale within days. For all those barbel fanatics who are really looking forward to seeing the next two instalments of our Barbel Days and Ways series here’s a sneaky preview of what you can expect to find in Volume 3…

(For best results just click on the expand arrows in the bottom right hand corner and you’ll be able to view them on full screen. You can press the Esc key to return the screen to normal size at any time.)


 And here’s one for Volume 4, too…


And just for the sake of continuity, here’s a teaser for the whole set…


Please Come Along And Say Hello

Stu (Walker) and I are attending the Barbel Society Conference on Sunday 9th May at the Hinckley Island Hotel Hinckley, Leicestershire (Sat Nav LE10 3JA), where (in theory) we’ll officially launch the next two Barbel Days and Ways DVDs. However, before then we’ll be contacting all our previous customers to give them an exclusive chance to get hold of pre-release-date copies.

If you are coming to the show please do drop by and have a chat with us. We won’t give you the hard sell and we don’t bite. I may occasionally appear to be a touch abrasive on here where a few individuals are concerned but you’ll find that side of my character is reserved exclusively for folk who are complete a**holes, but I’m sure you’ve worked that out for yourselves!

We’re certainly looking forward to meeting up with so many friends, both old and new at the show.

Otter Fencing Works A Treat

Recently I met a gamekeeper who works on a large country estate in North Wales. Here was a man who had spent his entire life working with nature, “You’ll not believe some of the things we see,” He told me. “I love my job, I’m out there every single day, in the countryside. I can’t wait to get up in a morning and I’m often out there until the sun goes down.”

He told me of how he culled deer, camouflaged from head to toe, lying prone in the heather, peering through the telescope on his high velocity rifle, “If you can remain still enough the animals don’t even know you’re there. They come right up to you, within touching distance, sometimes.”

Our discussion took many diversions and if I tell you we shared a table for breakfast and then ate lunch together without ever leaving that table you’ll understand that we covered a lot of subjects. Eventually we came round to otters.

“We have them on the estate,” He said. “We see the spraints and one was run over by a car in the dark, but do you know, in 40 years of working as a gamekeeper I’ve never once seen one in the wild?”. Just goes to show, doesn’t it, that some of the townies and Internet pundits who tell us otters aren’t a problem because they’ve never seen one on the (probably) rare occasions they go fishing are talking out of their backsides.

He had the otter set up, you know. Apparently you need a license to do that, even when it’s road kill. The whole bureaucratic process set him back £500. Can you believe that?

Anyway, I have discovered indisputable photographic evidence that properly erected otter fencing works a treat. However, based on this picture, the number of otters marauding around the UK has possibly been underestimated…


I don’t know if you’ve noticed 😉 but I’m prone to revealing a particularly abrasive side of my character when I come up against fools with attitude problems. In fact I expect it’ll be carved on my headstone, ‘Here lies a man who didn’t suffer fools gladly’.

And on that subject…

I occasionally read Tony Rocca’s blog, if only to find out how much money he’s made recently, although if I’m to be perfectly honest, I’m always intrigued to see what he’s writing about me – which since he began his blog has been quite a lot. You see he’s rather obsessed. And irrational. I really find it quite flattering that I occupy so much of his life and this thought alone brightens up many a dull day.

Tony, it would seem, has a problem with me, or indeed anything about me. He’s incapable of even writing the words ‘Bob Roberts’ so he’ll use childish names that he makes up, like 2bobs, Bob Bobs and that sort of thing. Like someone with a mental age of, say, 8 to 12…

He’s been sharing his borderline intelligence for so long now, since 2002/3 I would think, that he’s actually attracted his own little fan club of similarly disaffected souls, like Graham, and Seepee. Unfortunately, Tony lacks any courage in his convictions and frequently sinks to salacious innuendo rather than coming out and speaking his mind. Take this quote from one of his blog pieces, titled ‘Morons’

“Word comes to me of an event that made me smile for a while.

A self proclaimed local ‘celebrity angler’, not that there is such a thing in my opinion, chose to have a day on the Tidal Trent towards the seasons end. The silly fool chose a venue that is no day ticket, members only, though its open to anyone for the small sum of £15 a year. It produces some big fish on occasion too. He isn’t a member.

Being mid week I suppose he thought that there would be no one around and he would get away with it but the bailiff turned up and asked for his ticket. He didn’t have one of course and on being asked to leave tried the old “Don’t you know who I am” line. It didn’t get him anywhere and he had to pack away.

The River Gods obviously frowned upon our friends behaviour as when he tried to move off from the car park his van was stuck in the mud. He asked the bailiff for a tow out but was met with the reply, “try phoning the AA”……. Justice!”

First and foremost, let’s clear up what a moron is. A moron is a person of borderline intelligence in the former classification of mental retardation coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard to describe a person with a mental age in adulthood of between 8 and 12. The Urban Dictionary gives us a modern take, ‘a person who makes uncool, unfunny, uninteresting, or irrelevant (see lame) attempts to impress others and draw attention to himself, especially in a flawed attempt to act like someone else’.

Now that does sound familiar, eh Tony…?

But who is this self proclaimed local celebrity angler he refers to? I’m rather intrigued. Aren’t you? I also feel there should be a hyphen after ‘self’ if we’re going to accuse others of lacking intelligence but we’ll ignore it throughout this piece for the sake of continuity!

Who? I’d love to know. Was it maybe, Julian Cundiff? Alan Scotthorne? Lee Swords? Err, Tommy Pickering? Denis White? Surely not Ron Clay? Could it perhaps be Mr Barbel himself, Conrad Farlow? Nah. Nivver!

Normally when he’s writing in this kind of condescending manner he’s on about me. But that can’t possibly be true. And that’s the trouble with innuendo, isn’t it? As soon as you start making vague claims you end up with folks pointing fingers at who they’d like it to be.

Not surprisingly his ‘story’ suckered in a few window lickers who wanted to stir up a bit of muck. The first, and let’s be in no doubt about the credentials and history of this man, was Seepee or Chris Pearson to you and me. He left this quote:

“I think you are being very harsh on The Celebrity Angler it must be very difficult for him now to snatch a few hours when he’s banned on most of his old haunts, looks like that’s another little piece of heaven off limits now, he should get a wig and a stick on beard and moustache.” Commented Seepee

Mr Pearson has made spurious claims about me in the past, one of them being that I’m banned from various waters. For the record I have never received a ban from ANY water, EVER in my life. But clearly he thought it was me.

“Who was the angler who got caught?” Asked someone called ‘Specki ‘, no doubt hoping that something salacious was about to be revealed.

“Couldn’t possibly say.” Taunted Tony

“Can I, please, please :-) Was the predictable response of Chris Pearson who was clearly getting rather excited in the trouser department.

“Its not tricky now is it.” Teased the puppet master.

And so it went on.

Seepee (Chris Pearson) then went on to suggest it was one of the following:

“Jackie Charlton, Robson Green, *** ******* ;), or Chris Tarrant”

Logically, Messrs Charlton, Green and Tarrant aren’t local to the Tidal Trent so we’re left with one choice, ie. *** ******* ;). So who exactly could *** ******* be? Of course you then get responses like ‘I think I know of whom you speak but I’ll say no more, knudge, knudge, wink, wink.Taps nose ect,ect.’

Knudge with a ‘K’ and the spelling of ‘ect’ actually speaks volumes… Apparently some folk have been known to actually write to themselves on these blogs!

But let me pose a question. Is there a better way of blackening the character of innocents than to spread gossip around when there’s not a shred of evidence or proof? In Barnsley they call folk like this ‘Washer Women’ (or more accurately ‘wesher’ women).

Yet despite everything, deep down I’m curious. I’d love to know which angler Tony Rocca is writing about. Who is this ‘self proclaimed local celebrity angler’  he’s calling a moron? Tell you what, I know he and his mates read this blog avidly, so let’s lay down a challenge:

Chris Pearson reckons it happened and has been told who it is by a discrete source* . I’m betting it never happened at all. I dare gamble the whole charade is a work of pure fiction.

(* Note: Does anyone feel the combined use of ‘been told ‘ and ‘discrete’ qualifies as a classic oxymoron?)

So here’s the deal. Chris, name this ‘self proclaimed local celebrity angler’  and throw in where and when it’s supposed to have happened and I’ll follow it up with the individual concerned to find out if this is a fact or fairy tale. If you’re wrong, will you pay £20 to a charity of my choice – namely Reels-On-Wheels?

As for Rocca, come on man, name the guy. If there’s a shred of proof that what you claim happened I’ll give £20 to the charity of your choice.

On the other hand, if, as I suspect, it’s a total cock and bull fabrication, will you match the first two £20’s and pay £40 to my charity? We know you can afford it because you’re forever telling the world about your Stock Market gains.

Hmmm. I suspect we may be in for a prolonged silence folks. And what a blessing that would be…

On the other hand the story wasn’t entirely a waste. Apparently there’s a stretch of Tidal Trent, available for just £15 a year (which has a track record of producing big fish), that I’m not aware of. I’ll have to have a look into that one.

Thanks Tony. Or is that another cock and bull story, too?

Tony, you’re obviously, ‘uncool, unfunny, uninteresting and irrelevant (see previous definition of moron) in your flawed attempt to imitate me whilst failing to impress anyone or even draw attention to yourself.

Sad, really.

Lest We Forget

I find it hard to believe but it’s 25 years since the Valley Parade fire. I don’t remember what I was doing when I heard Kennedy had been assassinated or when Elvis died; Lennon I do, but one thing that certainly does stick is that awful day when the main stand at Bradford caught fire. I can still feel the disbelief that 56 people could die in a football ground fire thanks to a discarded cigarette end.

Those who have attended fire training through their employment may well have seen film footage of how combustible vapours spread out under the stand roof before igniting, of how the policeman’s hair catches fire while he’s actually stood on the pitch.

I was working on the railway bridge over the Newark Dyke near Nether Lock that night with the best work colleague I ever had, Sid Mayes, and I can still feel the numbness, the silence that engulfed us.

On The Home Front

As predicted, Donny’s season imploded the moment I left the country. Three consecutive defeats saw any dreams of a play-off place evaporate but let’s be fair, we’d have have settled for mid-table back in August and this season still counts as a massive success. Next year we’ll have Hull City to look forward to and maybe Leeds. Scunthorpe have survived against the odds, so the loss of Sheffield Wednesday will be cushioned if the worst happens but it’s hard to believe they could be sliding back into the third division. Let’s hope they can pull off the great escape and turn the Championship into ‘League Yorkshire and friends’ (not that anyone regards Leeds as ‘friends’).

Can you believe that as I wrote the above sentence the Owls scored at Cardiff to keep their survival dream alive. It’s going to be a long afternoon! Crikey, image the derby matches if we have Middlesboro, Leeds, Hull (damn, just gone 1-1 within a minute), Sheffield United, Scunthorpe, Barnsley, Derby, probably Forest and Leicester. Plus there’s an outside chance of Huddersfield coming up through the play-offs.


Oh dear, it’s 5pm, Rovers win a seven-goal thriller while Wednesday look all-but doomed. It’s no longer in their own hands, now needing a favour from West Brom who play Crystal Palace on Monday Evening. If that happens then next weekends game at Hillsborough pitches these two teams in a head-to-head battle. Wednesday versus Palace and the winner takes it all. Survival for one, relegation for the other.

And even though Tony Rocca is a Wednesday supporter I still hope they pull it off.

I won’t laugh, honest.

Anyway, it’s good to be back in the saddle, six guns blazing, and it’ll be even better next time when I’ve had chance to dust off the rods again. Stillwaters only, I’m afraid, being as we’re in the silly season…

18 thoughts on “2010 Late April Blog

  1. Bob,

    As for my spelling It has always been piss poor,but to mock me for that I’m deeply sad,as I’m hurt very easily but internet jibes 😉

    Still at least we West Ham stayed up and I shall be at Craven Cottage on Sunday.Perhaps that staunch Fulham fan Fred Bonney will be around to buy me a beer ?

    As for Bradford,it seems like yesterday.

  2. Hi Bob,

    Hope you had a nice holiday.

    Leeds don’t really want to be friends with anybody, so it suits us just fine to be disliked by all and sundry,up and down the country.

    I’ll be at the Show on the BS merchandise stand, so I’ll endeavour to come over for a chat. I might even buy you a celebratory beer if we manage to clinch automatic the day before!


    Hope you’re keeping well mate, and glad the ‘Ammers stayed up at the expense of Dull. I’m down at the Valley on Saturday. Any away fan friendly boozers you can reccommend for a quiet beer or two? Internet gossip seems to suggest that ‘Wall will be out in force – don’t want us celebrating on their “manor” you see.

    Keep Well both


  3. ‘Could it perhaps be Mr Barbel himself, Conrad Farlow? Nah. Nivver!’

    I do believe that you are being a little insincere referring to me as Mr Barbel. Anyway I’m Mr Trout and owt that’ll take a fly at the moment. Must admit that I’ve enjoyed the break from Barbel fishing these last few weeks, it’s given me a whole new perspective. I believe that it may be a much healthier perspective as well, time will tell.

    I’ll buy the DVDs as usual Bob, perhaps one volume at a time though.

  4. You’re avin a laugh, Specki, Fred buying beer? Give over!

    Have you worked out who the ‘local celebrity’ is yet? Certainly wasn’t me. The silence in the Rocca camp speaks volumes, I’d say.

    I’ll happily take that beer, Rob. I’d say Leeds are certs for the bridesmaid outfit. After all they’ve worn it often enough. Can’t believe how desperate those other teams around you are to throw it away. Looks to me like they all fancy a day out at Wembley rather than going up.

    Perhaps they’ve realised that aspirations beyond your station can end in tears, not to mention administration and minus a few points. Living the dream comes at a cost, especially to your creditors…

    Never thought for a second it was, Conrad. When are you going to re-title your blog? How about, Conrad’s Barbel Fishing (And Various Other Species) Blog…


    See you all at the show.

  5. Hi Bob,

    Looking forward to catching up with Stu and your goodself at The Show.

    Have to say well done once again on the dvd’s, very professional and lots to think about. Laughed when a comment was made about Mick tearing his hair out!
    Will be putting a full blown review up on my website in the next few days.

    Regarding Mr. Barbel and with all due respect to Conrad I have to remind you that there is only one Mr. Barbel and he will be there at Hinckley, I’ll have to get a picture of the pair of you together. His name? Fred Crouch, the one and only.

    All the best, Steve.

  6. Regarding Mick’s comment, I nearly wet myself. His comment was gold dust but I knew if corpsed it would blow the clip!


    Conrad knows it was a leg-pull.

    And of course, it will be a pleasure to ‘POSE’ with Fred!

    Stu and I are really looking forward to the show. Feedback from the DVD copies we’ve leaked out so far has been very encouraging.

    Can’t wait for that drink from Rob – of course I’ll be asking for BITTER!

  7. Challenge Update:

    Looks like bad news for those charities that might have benefitted from the revelation of who ‘the self-proclaimed local celebrity angler’ was who got stuck in the mud whilst poaching a stretch of the Tidal Trent.

    The ‘Morons’ posting in Rocca’s blog has naughtily been retitled and re-written some four weeks after it was first published.

    How strange!

    We’ll take that as a climb down then, Tony…


  8. arguments aside…..i was told this site has some useful tips to read ??? upon reading all of the latest posts and blogs on here and other anglers blogs mentioned on here,im sad to say nothing much really i dont know ! why is it on most fishing forums (and iv read a few) people want to personally insult bob and others and throw a thromby not ??? and reply to sumone elses post via bob i.e like steve pope and ray walton ? who obviously dont see eye to eye for sum reason ! On the dvd bob wich is ok by the way,wich iv watched we my son…yeah great make another,but show me sumthing i dont know and other anglers dont !!! its all well and good filming in summer……but were do barbel hold up in winter when they go DORMENT ? i dont know of a dvd that has ever shown that and im sure you agree that wud be a challenge !!!

  9. heard about this site and was told it was an intresting read for tips and so forth…..upon reading the posts and blogs on here and other named peoples blogs…….not much really i dont know ! how come fishing forums (and iv read a few) are a battlefield for piffle and snipe remarks ? why do anglers try and insult others and bite BACK to jealousy ? and talk to others via bob i.e steve pope and ray walton ? obviously they dont see eye to eye for sum reason ? and the celebrity angler caught in mud,whoever it was,thats a story to look back and laugh at……who cares if he got stuck in mud!!!!!! thers no such thing as a celeb angler,anybody can catch fish we a bit of savay!!! but shudnt be fishing we out a members book !!! as for the dvd bob,yeah great its ok,i watched it we my son….but tell or show me something i dont know,its all well and good filming in summer but wat about in winter when they go dorment ? finding their winter haunts and their behaviours in feeding ! im sure u will agree that would be a challenge ?

  10. Hi Bob,
    You can’t be serious about expecting decency from Rocca or Elliott can you? Those virtues must be way down on their list along with those of another who thinks he is both popular and the answer to all things barbel. This guy did not even have the courage to put in print his slurs about me he let someone else do that, a bit cowardly don’t you agree.

    Oh just to clear things up it was me who suggested that the “Silverfox” try writing his own blog or make a DVD not Ray Walton, I would not want Ray getting stick for things I wrote.

    Talking about DVD’s I have order my Days and Ways 3/4…

    Hurry up with the DVD’s Bob.

  11. Afternoon Ray,

    There has been a massive demand for the new DVDs but rest assured all orders received so far have been packaged up and are ready to go on Tuesday morning, as promised.

    We toyed with sending them out tomorrow but that might mean them sitting in a sorting office over the Bank Holiday weekend and that could be a recipe for problems.

    I’m sure you’ll feel the wait was worthwhile when you’ve seen them… 😉

  12. “those of another” and “answer to all things barbel” ha ha was that in reply to my post ray ? ? ? iv never even heard of the names rocca or elliot (WHO ARE THEY) or any of the names asscociated we them,are they sum kind of barbel magicians or sumthing ??? if they are do tell me,id love to know wat they know ? maybe just maybe they cud add to my elite knowledge ???

  13. Hey Bob, you seem to attract the “Idiotas”

    It doesn’t seem that long ago the Bradford tragedy. I can still picture the copper looking out onto the pitch, and shouting at the box, your hairs on fire!

    Sorry Specki I would buy you a drink, but I can’t be there.

    See you all at “The Show”, who knows I may talk myself into going to Hamburg!!

  14. You’re not kidding there Fred.

    Fantastic result for Fulham last night. What a shame they won’t be playing Liverpool in an all-English final. That would have been a tasty game.

    You certainly owe it to the club to be there. Oportunities like this for the non-fashionable clubs rarely happen. Go for it!

  15. Well as a Sheffield Wednesday fan I think it will be Division 3 next year :O(

    I have very little hope for Sunday.

  16. Hi Bob,
    I am sure the DVD’s will be worth waiting for and will be to yours and Stu’s high standards.

    Have to agree it is great that Fulham have reached the final, can’t agree about Liverpool though managed by a mug who seems to have little idea if both Gerrard’s and Torres reactions of late are anything to go by.

    Of course Fulham reaching the final will undoubtedly bring out the armchair supporters who never attend home matches let alone away ones. Every clubs has them I bet there are some who have never seen inside Fulham’s ground. They are all full of feeble excuses why they can’t get to a match and they will undoubtedly do some real fans out of tickets come the final a disgrace that’s what I call them.

    Keep your chin up Lee, Wednesday just might pull it off, I thought my team West ham were dead and buried good job there are three teams even worse so don’t give up.

    TRBA, my remarks were in no way directed at you or a response to your post, unless of course you are the one of whom I spoke using an alias?

    Kind regards
    Ray Wood

  17. I am sure I am not the only regular reader of your blog who wishes you would stop encouraging the brickbats by simply ignoring those throwing them. In other words, please don’t waste space on your “critics” and their ilk. I never read your replies to them anyway. I just want to get to the stuff I do want to read – about fishing, football, music etc etc… You are wasting your talent pandering to them.

    Keep up your otherwise great blog Bob and good luck with 3 and 4. I for one hope you make loads of money from them!!! Why not? It’s good to know others are doing well. I can’t see what’s wrong with that…

  18. Whilst I appreciate your sentiments Chris, the responses are deliberately placed at the end of each blog so readers can skip them should they wish to do so.

    The problem is, if you don’t challenge the malicious lies and mistruths that are spread then that becomes the truth.
    Sadly there’s no point in seeking any form of legal redress because the lack of intelligence they display suggests they don’t have a pot to piss in between them.

    I appreciate it is a bit like taunting the inmates of a lunatic assylum and just as easy to do. However, if it was your own integrity(and family) that was being constantly being sniped at by these morons I doubt you’d ignore it for long…