2010 – Late May Blog

Greetings and welcome to the Late May blog. Might I suggest you make yourself comfortable, perhaps with a drink. It’s a bumper blog edition and you could be here a while. First things first though. You’ve probably seen on the front page of the site that I’m running two angling courses this summer on the River Wye.

This isn’t a case of plonking you on a barbel flier and then leaving you to it while I go and enjoy a bit of fishing myself and then expect you to pay a couple of hundred quid or more (dear me, the tales I’ve heard about a certain ‘guide’…!). No, this is proper coaching and it’s more than just chucking out a heavy feeder loaded with pellets. We’ll be fishing various methods using different baits for a variety of species. This is a proper angling experience, not just a catching one.

Speaking with the hotel owner (Peter – he’s a mad keen angler himself) I’m told there are a couple of places left on each course. As the TV advert says, when they’re gone, they’re gone. The price, including 4 nights accommodation in a fabulous hotel with full board – and we’re taking gourmet dining, plus coaching and fishing fees – is a ridiculously cheap £459.

Yes, you read that correctly. That’s not per day and there are no hidden add-ons, just your bar bill and a bit of petrol/ deisel as we dodge here and there on the river. Non-fishing guests (sharing the same room) are welcome to come along for just £299.

Like I say, each course is limited to 8 fishing places and when they’re filled the books are closed. The dates are as follows:

Sunday 27th June – Thursday 1st July 2010

Sunday 8th August – Thursday 13th July 2010

For more details just give the hotel a call on 01982 552601

Green Un Final

If you’re wondering what the Green Un Final is then the chances are you don’t live in South Yorkshire or the North Midlands. It’s a competition run by me for club match anglers each year and I’ve been at the helm since 1997 although the competition itself predates this by donkeys ages. I even used to fish in it myself 20 years ago.

It is run to promote club match angling and local fisheries and in doing so we create a Club Match Angler Champion for the region. To enter you simply have to live in the geographical area, submit your match results to me for publication in Sheffield’s dedicated Sports Paper (the Green Un) and the winner of each match goes through to a semi final.

The section winners from the semi make it through to the final. Each year, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Climax Tackle I’m able to pay out around £8,000 over the two matches. Back in 1997 I had 40 entries. This year I had over well over 500 and each season it gets bigger and better so I must be doing something right.

Mind you, I’d struggle to run matches on the scale of these without the support and help I get from Pauline and Geoff Hurt who’ve been by my side for over a decade, sorting out registrations, taking the pools, printing off weight cards, going round with the scales, you name it. They’re invaluable and they do it for absolutely nowt, like me.

This years final was staged on the Snake Lake (clue’s in the name!) and what a perfect venue it turned out to be. So many matches are won at the draw bag. How often have you watched even a Fish ‘O’ Mania and you know who’ll win it after the first hour?

The fish in the snake are predominantly small orfe and little carp, averaging perhaps one to 4 ounces apiece. On top of this there are a few one pound carp, the occasional bonus perch and a few skimmers running to a couple of pounds. Honestly, once a match gets underway you haven’t a clue who’s in front even though the venue lends itself perfectly to spectating because there’s a high bank on one side where you can look down on every single competitor.

I was taking photographs for the various newspapers that like to cover the outcome, and (of course) this web site, so I was right in there in the thick of the action but I got the outcome totally wrong. Everyone was catching. Indeed three-quarters of the field topped 22lb with many topping 30lb. It was action all the way and I would have put my money on one of three anglers taking the crown but not one of them made the top three.

For Steve Newsome, who narrowly missed out on a place in last year’s final when he finished second in section in the semi, this was a final debut he’ll never forget.

The 44-year-old NHS Supplies Officer fished two short lines. To one side he fished caster, to the other he potted in groundbait, worm, caster and pellets and despite catching steadily, at no time did he imagine he was leading the pack. A friend who was spectating rang him up in mid-match to say he was probably in the top five.

Later on, after catching several bonus bream and carp, the forecast was upped to top three but it still came as a shock to him when he won. “It’ll sink in later.” Said the Tardis Tackle backed angler. Asked what he’d do with his winnings he said, “I’ve got a crap pole, a crap box and I need replacements! This is the perfect prize for me.”

Runner-up Barrie Moat has fished in the final on several occasions and he came so close this time to lifting the coveted title of Club Match Angler Champion. After a steady start the 47-year-old Fabricator Welder began picking up small carp and orfe on the long pole line where he’d been feeding pellet and groundbait. Twenty carp in the final 90 minutes took him agonisingly close to catching Newsome who’s net was boosted by a run of late bream.


1. Steve Newsome       44lb 3oz      (£2,000 tackle voucher plus £160 cash)

2. Barrie Moat              40lb 5oz      (£1,000 tackle voucher plus £100 cash)

3. Mick Scott                39lb 1oz      (£500 tackle voucher plus £80 cash)

4. Mick Brownell           36lb 0oz      (£300 tackle voucher plus £60 cash)

5. Roy Gibson               34lb 12oz    (£200 tackle voucher)

The twenty finalists each received a £50 tackle voucher

Cash payouts at the semi final alone included £400 to the winner and £350 for second ranging down to over £200 for 6th. Even the tenth placed angler picked up £100 (all cash) with the 20 section winners receiving £50 tackle vouchers. Amazing payouts for a club match, don’t you think?.

Footnote: Dedicated Or What?

If anyone should doubt what competing in the Green Un Final means to our club anglers spare a thought for 68-year-old Dave Loveday who had qualified for the final but was rushed into hospital just days before the match. Dave’s a great supporter of the Championship and has been a permanent fixture in the semis for as long as I’ve been running things.

Despite undergoing surgery in Chesterfield Hospital this week he managed to get himself discharged on Friday and turned out for the match still wearing his identification wrist band. It wasn’t to be Dave’s day but did he care? Nah!

“Bob,” He said, “It’s just brilliant to be out here fishing in the fresh air again.”

What a great attitude.

Footnote: Should you be interested the Aston SpringsFishery contact number is: 0114 2470876

Bob The Fish

I’ve never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth so when Bud Grover got in touch and offered to send me a bit of Bob The Fish merchandise to go with the stuff I’d already bought I practically snatched off his hand. What a nice bloke, and generous, too.

So I rushed out to greet the postman each day, all excited,  as you do.

Nothing! Just the usual bills and fliers.

And then I received a letter from Parcel Force informing me that HMRC wanted to charge me £11.36 VAT on the package (gift) that they were holding for me and just to throw in a double whammy there would also be an £8 handling charge payable to them on top for collecting it. So I had to cough up almost twenty quid just to see what they were holding on to.

To make matters worse you have to phone them agreeing to pay up and that doesn’t mean talking to a real person – oh no! What you get is, “If you’re pi**ed off, press one, (You have pressed one, says the robot).” Then you have to enter your 17-digit parcel reference, your 13-digit customs number, your post code, your credit card details, start date, expiry date, your security code, your inside leg measurement…

I’m sure you know what I mean. On and on it went. I reckon I’ve half a chance of a ‘no-win, no-fee claim’ for repetitive finger strain injury and stress now. Honestly I must have been on the phone ten minutes.

Still, it’s cheaper than flying back to Aruba to buy another T-shirt.

Mirror Shocker!

A report in the Daily Mirror this week reveals that, according to the insurance company Elephant, the safest drivers in the country are called Roberts…

Some of us knew that already. 

Glad I’m not called Clark though. Smiley 

Rivers Return

Anyone getting excited about the new river season yet? The ‘Glorious 16th’ and all that?

It ain’t glorious, is it? It’s the date when so-called do-gooding conservation minded anglers go out and target fish that have either just spawned, are spawning or are about to spawn. The idea of shutting down fishing through March and April (and the coldest May on record) just so that died-in-the-wool traditionalists can enjoy a ‘glorious’ opening day is so at odds with my intelligence I therefore find it hard to support them in anything else they try to achieve.

It’s their Achilles heel, for sure.

Look, we’ve towed the party line for nearly three months now and the vast majority of the species still left in our rivers HAVE NOT SPAWNED!!!!

Come the 16th June there’s every chance they will be spawning though.

And there’s the rub. In the past I have frequently been known to mount a one-man protest by staying at home on opening day, or going to work. It just seems wrong to fish the 16th and more often than not I’ve observed a 2-week stand-off, giving the fish until the 1st July, but as the years fly by and I realise I won’t live forever, I feel that extending an already over-long closed season is only punishing one person – and that’s me.

Those who preach ‘swim wild and swim free’ are all down the river trying to catch barbel. So much for care and conservation, eh?

But this year I’ll be joining them because until there’s a genuine desire to change the closed season and reflect the needs of the fish, why on earth should I be out of step with everyone else. So I’ll be out there with the rest of you even though I feel it’s wrong.

We need leadership from the Angling Trust and all the other specialist factions. To close the season on March 15th is totally un-neccessary. Pointless. It doesn’t help the fish and it doesn’t help the clubs and it doesn’t help the ailing tackle trade. Frankly it would do less harm to leave the rivers open until the end of April than it does to open them on the 16th.

Sticking your head in the sand and shouting, “La-la-la, I can’t hear you!” is no help to anyone.

The fish don’t require 93 days to spawn. That’s plain ridiculous. The whole of May and the whole of June would be more than adequate. THEN I’ll be happy to celebrate the Glorious First (of July). Unfortunately that won’t happen and the result we’ll end up with won’t be a compromise, it’ll be either-or, and seeing as we can now fish canals and stillwaters all-year-round with no discernable impact on the fish we’ll probably end up scrapping it altogether. And I don’t want that.

And the more folk complain that rivers are a special case and that barbel must be treated differently to other species, with none retained in keepnets or stocked in stillwaters, the more we’ll see those who only fish lakes and matches turning against this moral minority.

Wake up guys, you could be your own worst enemy.

What Closed Season?

A walk down my local river revealed a peg that has seen a bit of action recently. Whether it was from a courting couple indulging in a bit of al fresco coupling one can’t be sure but the remains of a fire suggest otherwise. I reckon someone’s been fishing here, don’t you?

There’s No Need To Ban Angling

You don’t have to walk too far away from the car park to find areas that definitely haven’t been fished. Sadly they probably won’t get fished when the season opens, either, because the river looked absolutely dead. I spent a good hour on the banks and walked about a mile, stopping now and then to observe what was happening.

I can tell you, nothing! The only fish I saw topping would struggle to make half an ounce. Not once did I see a single nice roach, or bream roll. No herons, no grebes, no kingfisher.

The river actually runs through a nature reserve and, of course, there are signs sticking up out of the adjacent lake at intervals to proclain ‘NO FISHING ALLOWED’. Like there’s anything left alive in there anyway? I don’t mind having restrictions on certain wetlands providing that alternative areas are allocated to those who prefer to fish rather than snoop on birds which is marginally better than being a Peeping Tom after all. However, there’s really no need to take the pi**, is there?

At the entrance to the reserve you find all manner of fancy notices and plaques laying down the ideals of the organisation that controls it. Things like, ‘We aim to protect all  wildlife’. And it would be a grand ambition – if they did care about ALL wildlife. There’s a whacking great clue on the introductory board what their stance is.

If they cared one jot for the indigenous British wildlife their concerns would encompass fish as well as flora and fauna. Not surprisingly there’s no mention of fish in any of the information on offer. Instead they feature a pretty piicture of a cormorant. That’s right, an alien bird that is ravaging our natural wildlife and given time will impact so badly on grebe, heron and kingfisher.

It’s already eaten the otter out of house and home…

Rockwell Rocks

Time for another art lesson, peeps…

Few will really be aware of the artist Norman Rockwell but you’ve probably seen some of his work. Born 1894 in New York City, Rockwell struggled to be recognised as a serious artist, dismissed by critics as ‘just an illustrator’, which was so unfair.

He worked in realism, painting more than 320 covers for the Saturday Evening Post, an occupation that brought him fame, wealth and enormous popularity. His subjects were painfully real, capturing life in the United States through bad times (the Great Depression and World War II) and good (the idyllic 50s), and, with the onset of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, the uncomfortable and unjust.

Humour frequently shone through his perfect technical skills and it would be amazing were his collection of works held in one gallery today but unfortunately Rockwell didn’t value his art. Many of his paintings were simply given away to readers of the Post who wrote in and said they liked a particular work.

A number of his works have achieved iconic status, for instance the ones shown here dating back to 1943, Freedom of Speech  and Freedom to Worship that make up half of hisFour Freedoms. Other classic works include Rosie the Riveter, The Girl at the Mirror, Triple Self Portrait, The Golden Rule, The Problem We All LiveWith and many others.

Banksie eat your heart out!

Honestly, it’s worth spending a little time checking out his work. You’ll be amazed by the way he captures emotions and values. A Rockwell print is on my wish list for the lounge, trouble is, which one?

Eel Stocking Initiative

I was involved in the very early stages of forming the Don Rivers Trust but it was always going to be a tough ask for me because of my work commitments at the time and my transition into so-called retirement. I also felt that the real focus would be very much on the upper reaches and the trout angler in particular, but I’m no fool on that score. Get the top end right and everything else falls into place as we’re seeing with the River Wye.

So it was brilliant to learn the Trust had managed to secure £92,000 of Government funding towards boosting the eel population and this past week, Chris Firth was down at the RSPB’s Old Moor Nature Reserve to release 50,000 elvers in the heart of the Dearne Valley.

What impact they’ll have, I don’t know, but it’s a start. And it’s also good to see anglers working with  the RSPB. Recently one local angler threw a fit when I suggested he should be working with and not against bodies like the RSPB and canoeists. Learn, son. Watch and learn.

Chris Firth has done more for fishing in the Don Valley than any man alive. It’s due to him that we have barbel in the Dearne at all. Is he fighting the ‘enemy’? No, he’s working with them for all our best interests.

Never Another Saturday (2006 And All That…)

I picked up a copy of Tony Bluff and Steve Uttley’s book, Never Another Saturday  (Breedon Books) the other day which charts Donny Rovers’ final year at the old Belle Vue ground and it really brought home to me what a sh*thole the place was.

I cut my teeth watching football at Belle View and to me it was a magical place, especially the night games. But time dims the memories and those who condemn our new stadium as a ‘soulless bowl’ (yet they can never grasp the irony that their own description is completely un-original, too) need to get a grip on reality.

During the final full season there we beat both Man City and Aston Villa in the League cup. We then came so close to beating Arsenal in the quarter final – leading 2-1 withonly seconds of injury time left in extra time when Gilberto equalised. In our very last competitive game at Belle Vue we beat the mighty, twice Champions of Europe (and they’ll never let anyoneforget), Nottingham Forest, but for the majority of the 74 years we lived there it was a diet of dross both on and off the field.

But there were (a few) highlights. You really don’t want to know the low lights.

In my own lifetime I witnessed the compulsory demolition of the North Stand as a consequence of the Bradford fire because it was a timber construction. The west side Popular Terrace stand was demolished due to subsidence. Later it was rebuilt on a much smaller scale following a ‘Raise The Roof’ fund raising campaign. And then there was the main stand.

Bad enough you had to crane around a forest of girders in two seried rows to see anything, the then club chairman, Ken Richardson only tried to have it burned down! The arsonists succeeded in wrecking the roof and caused considerable damage but the stand survived, if not intact, unlike the chairman who went to prison for his role in the affair.

The South end, or Spion Kop, was always an open terrace. It never even had a roof.

It didn’t matter where you watched from, the catering was crap and the toilets worse. And this book brings it all home. We were  a tin pot club and we were no better or worse than dozens of other minor league outfits who struggle constantly to remain in business.

How different today with our brand new all-seater stadium, fabulous training facilities, nice corporate hospitality suites, proper merchandising outlets and a place, for a while, in the Championship. But the events in the book were so recent, so fresh in the memory that the thought of falling back to where we came from and to where many fans, who sneer down their noses at our humble achievements, think we belong, sends a shiver down the spine.

Even so, the old ground did have a bit of history. In October 1948 during the post war football boom when attendances rocketed everywhere, over 37,000 souls packed into Belle Vue for a match against Hull City. Having been on the ground in a crowd of 25,000 I can’t imagine where they all stood and what they could possibly see. In 1987 the official capacity had been reduced to just 4,859! Later the capacity was increased to 8,259 and then down again to 7,294 (following the Hillsborough tragedy) until further improvements brought it back to 10,500.

You can see why the compact 15,000 all-seater Keepmoat Stadium with its lakeside setting and surrounding sports complex feels like a cathedral to some of us!

But back in 1952 Belle Vue made a bit of history that no-one can ever take away. On the evening of March 4th Rovers played a friendly match against Hibernian in front of 18,474 fascinated spectators. It was the first match outside of London to be played under floodlights.

Fair Play To Donny

Well, surviving in the Championship is one thing, actually winning something is another, but hang on, Donny picked up another trophy last weekend – actually handed out before the kick-off at Wembley by Prince William. Yes, Doncaster Rovers can now add the Championship Fair Play trophy to the list of honours having proven statistically to be the cleanest side in the Division.


Don’t laugh – the £10,000 prize money will come in handy. In fact it’ll probably double our transfer budget!

Donny conceded just 405 fouls over the course of last season, picked up 39 yellows, 3 reds and gave away 3 penalties. Interestingly the three teams at the other end of the table are all based in South Yorkshire – Sheffield United, Wednesday and the gritty Barnsley. Dirty buggers!

By comparison United gave away 627 fouls and picked up 86 yellow cards.

Arsenal won the award for the Premiership (see, I keep telling you we’re the Arsenal of the North) and Leeds didn’t win owt.

Interestingly, if you look back two seasons when Leeds and Donny competed in the same league, Doncaster Rovers finished second in the Fair Play League behind a very deserving Crewe. Guess who came bottom – who was the least fair team in the whole Division…?

That’s right, Dirty Leeds!

Catch The Ferry

There’s a little water just down the way from me called Ferryboat Fishery at Old Denaby. Some regard it as an oxbow lake but it was created 150 years ago when the course of the River Don was diverted by the Railway Companies to save the cost of building two bridges when they constructed the Doncaster to Sheffield railway line.

As commercial fisheries go, for that’s what it is now, it’s a bit of a picture, but it’s not one of your bag-up carp waters. There are carp but most winning weights here feature bream and tench as well as carp. In some ways it’s a shame the place has been developed because it held some rather big tench by Yorkshire standards as well as crucians to 2lb or so.

They still survive but it’s a case of sorting the brown goldfish and the F1s from the originals but it’s a venue I quite fancy having a dapple on sometime soon. Perhaps in mid-week because it’s not exactly busy right now. Weekends see the arrival of caravaners and club matches, not to mention a few pleasure lads.

What really appeals to me is that you can fish a pond that actually has the feel of fishing a river. Methinks a waggler is called for. Not the most efficient way to fish but stick a ripple on it and I can dream away!

Call Phil or Dawn on 01709 588088 or 01709 204593.

Should We Con-Dem This So-Called Democracy?

Well, we’ve finally replaced the old Government with a new one, but wasn’t the election a farce? Bad enough that hundreds of folk were unable to vote because polling stations couldn’t handle the crowds or that we had to wait nearly a week to find out who’d won. Turns out it was the Lib Dems.

But doesn’t it beg the question why we even had an election at all?

The idea of free and democratic elections is fine in principle. Each party lays down a set of promises, the electorate chooses which promises it likes and whichever party gets the most votes then goes ahead and delivers its promises. I think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Unfortunately that hasn’t happened, has it?

We’ve ended up with the party that came third deciding who will run the country but only if it’s on their terms. In other words we have a Prime Minister being pulled around by a puppet master and is now trying to implement a mandate that was created on the hoof after the election took place rather than the one on which we were invited to vote on.

So what was the point of an election? There was never going to be a clear and outright winner from the off, so what was stopping the Tories and the Lib Dems just staging a coup, stripping Labour of its power and saving the country a small fortune?

Democracy, that’s what. So how come, after achieving his only real goal (I want, I want, I want to be the Prime Minister) can David Cameron be allowed to scrap his manifesto and re-jig everything just to suit Nick Clegg’s inflated sense of self importance? And how can a man who so patently lost the election, finishing third behind a washed up Labour party, be rewarded with the job of Deputy Prime Minister?

The Lib Dems and the Tories are a million miles apart on nuclear power, immigration and so much more. Even Clegg’s own party fear a sell-out. And all for what? Fudging and fiddling, consumption and corruption.

Expect to see lots of tough issues kicked into the long grass for someone else to sort out later.

The problem is simple. No-one trusted a single one of the three party leaders, Brown in particular. But with him out of the way, do any of the new candidates for the Labour leadership fill you with confidence?

Ed Balls-up!!! The Miliband Brothers? Andy Burnham? Not forgetting Dianne Abbott…

Chances are they’d do better with Russ Abbott in charge. What was his album called? That’s right, I love A Party.

Sounds like the only answer to me. Vote for Russ!

Public Eyesore

Wandering round Curacao recently a couple of statues caught my eye (no pun intended).

Something didn’t seem quite right, and then I realised. They were statues of men wearing glasses.

Odd that. Apart from the statue of Eric Morecome you never see spectacle wearing statues, do you?

Unless you know different…

That’s A Rum Old Drink Sailor Boy!

Hate to sound homophobic but how many bottles of this stuff would you have to drink before you’d actually do it…?

Might qualify you for this T-shirt though…


Believe it or not I’ve actually got a ‘Hell’ stamp in my passport now but please don’t misinterpret that statement!

Pre-Season Friendlies

At first glance the Rovers’ list of pre-season games looked rather mouthwatering. Quite tasty in fact. It included the likes of West Brom, Askern Villa and the Magpies. Three big premiership sides, I thought. That’ll do nicely.

It was only when I realised that it was the Magpies of Notts County and not Newcastle that I smelt a rat. On closer inspection, Askern Villa wasn’t a spelling mistake, either. That’s Askern, as in the mining village, not Aston, as in Birmingham.

The swines!

With my luck West Brom will turn out to be Guest Brom, you know, like one of those tribute rock bands, the Rolling Clones or something like that.

I can see it now, Donkey Rovers versus Askern Villa, live on the Horse and Country TV Channel. Of course it will be repeated each Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 10.00am, 2.00pm, 6.00pm and 11.00pm as light relief from Hywell Morgan, John Bailey and the horse jumping from Burliegh.

Err, and if you haven’t grasped the trivia band wavelength in this bon mot and have just spent several minutes wondering what the hell I’m on about, try these tribute acts for size. Honestly, they’re genuine working bands who worship their idols with the sincerest form of flattery – imitation.

Now why does that sound familiar…?



No Way Sis

Red Mock Chili Peppers

Non Jovi



Beatallica (Beatles songs sung in Metallica style)


Duran Duran Duran (Bad language and mini riot on film clip… Er, not DD tribute at all!)

Mini Kiss (all-midgets Kiss tribute)


Gabba (Abba songs in Ramones style)


Mandonna (all-male band)

Bjorn Again

AC/DShe (all-female band)


Four Fighters


Slack Sabbath

And the list goes on forever…

Askern Bloody Villa! I ask you. What great intellects came up with that one?

PS: In case you’re wondering bon mot  is not a Bon Jovi/ Mott The Hoople tribute act, it’s a clever saying or witticism, isn’t it Whiskerton!

Sobriquet, anyone?


I Don’t Believe It!!!!

A blog should never be this long but there’s just so much going on to comment about so I hope (a), that you’re still with me, and (b), you’ll forgive me my indulgence.

Now you’ll maybe recall I mentioned some while back that the ridiculous logo for the 2012 Olympics was so like Liza Simpson on her knees giving someone a bl*w job although even in my wildest dreams I really didn’t think the organising committee could sanction anything more laughable, however I have to say they have excelled themselves with the launch of the new Olympic Mascots.

Have you seen them yet? Let me introduce you to Wenlock and Mandeville…

Now you tell me. Are they not a bit phalic? The old one-eyed trouser snake in a snug jacket? Or is it an advert for condoms? The one on the left does look a bit like a used prophylactic wearing a Liza ‘head Job’ Simpson T-shirt, doesn’t he?

Perhaps the influence came from that old Woodie Allen film, Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex

Or maybe they’re hoping to get Usain Bolt to drop the archer stance and dress up as…


We may laugh about Wenlock and Mandeville, as they’re called, but London 2012 chair Paul Deighton expects them to raise between £70m and £80m in merchandising royalties and they’re expected to be a key money-spinner.

How long before we’re offered Wenlock and Mandeville condoms in six flavours? Well, they’re aiming at the youth market, after all.

Feel free to keep up with Wenlock and Mandeville on Facebook, on Twitter and on their own web site but if you don’t mind I’ll give it all a miss. But it’ll be manna from heaven for every commedian in the country and just wait for the parody sites to emerge…

Now they could be fun!

33 thoughts on “2010 – Late May Blog

  1. HI Bob,

    With respect to the closed season, there will still be many barbel anglers, fishing in the barbel’s spawning grounds, weirs that is, at the start of the new season.

    As a Barbel angler, I for one will keep away and let them get on with it in peace……

    Great blog Bob as always.


  2. Interesting article about eel stocking, Bob & also i’ve heard that Burbot are being reintroduced into rivers but have yet to find out where.

    Closed season or not, folks still fish the rivers. We can legally fish for eels from March 15th-June 15th, so really whats the need for a closed season? Personally i’d do away with it, especially now there is enough scientific proof that there is no detriment to coarse fish in canals & stillwaters.



  3. Bob.

    Barbel are spawning now (or were on Thursday last) in that little Notts river you like to fish. Go take a walk down there and take a look in the weed beds.

    Keep the blogs going, but drop the football.

    S.W fan, Dennis

  4. Sadly for you Dennis the blog is written exclusively by me and for me. You just get a chance to peek through my curtains.

    As for dropping the football, how can anyone who signs himself a S.W fan complain about me mentioning football?

    Donny gave the Wendies two masterclasses in how to play the game but you still decided to stick to hoofball and paid the ultimate price.

    Enjoy League One is all I will say to you sir!

    Seriously, think it through; this blog is MY blog. No-one pays me to write it and no sponsor insists I write it, either. It simply reflects what I’ve been doing and the things I like (or feel grumpy about). If you don’t want to read about the football, or music, or art, or politics, or any of my views in general, scroll past them.

    Folk like you just get an oportunity to read the blog completely free of charge and so I ain’t changing anything to soften the blows of your shattered dreams. It ain’t my fault Sheffield Wednesday has been relegated.

    Now if you don’t like what I write feel free to respond in YOUR blog…

    I’ll look forward to reading that!

  5. Hi Bob,

    And thats the beauty of blogs as you rightly say!

    Its one place on the net you can within reason say what you want, when you want, and if you put it across well enough people will want to read it.
    And you can choose who to respond to!

    Too sunny to type at the moment,the garden is calling, must finish my next update tonight though, as I’ve said before I’m in awe at your capacity to put the words together so quickly.

    All the best,


  6. Hi Bob,

    Yes it is your blog done for you and no one else, your blog is always something worth reading and if people don’t like football they can just scroll down and miss those parts.

    I nearly fell out of me armchair when I read this little snippet,

    “Its one place on the net you can within reason say what you want, when you want, and if you put it across well enough people will want to read it. And you can choose who to respond to!”

    Yes and it is also a safe place to hide behind when direct questions are posed and asked of one, not that you hide Bob far from it unlike some who run blogs! What really makes me laugh is they are all to ready to use public forums to pedal their wares or propaganda about this or that, but then run away with the ball when the going gets tough and questions they don’t want to answer are put to them.

    I see you may have some competition on the Wye Bob, old “Silverfox is punting for customers over on BFW. I also read the stick he got about the non use of an unhooking mat while Tench fishing perhaps you could enlighten him?

    Keep up the good work.

    Kind regards


  7. Ideal response Bob, it’s a shame that some don’t see the Wood for the trees and realise that the same old song will only get a response once,asking it again and again wears a bit thin and won’t get a different answer!!

  8. “Well its the same old song but a different me since youv’e been gone”

    The truth is that no “TRUTHFUL” response has ever been given to any straight question posed to the papal one or from any committee member you included Mr Editor come to that!

    But the membership has seen the light at the end of the tunnel, no amount of bull will cover up the truth. Numbers down fisheries given up but the propaganda is still trotted out by the same old faces, like you say it wears a bit thin after so many years.

    Nice to see you’re still at your post on sentry duty, but you’re a bit “Dad’s Army now!” 🙂

    Kind regards


  9. Okay, the pair of you, pack it in now!

    I’ll let the tit-for-tat stand (unless either side asks me to remove them) but please, let it lie now.

    Objective comments are always welcome but let’s not get personal. This ain’t BFW! 🙁

    Try looking beyond the obvious. Tackle sales down, rod license sales down, day ticket and season tickets down, numbers of barbel down. Major angling clubs are in trouble as rents rise. It’s a bigger problem than one specialised group, Ray.

    Anyway, leave it alone now or I’ll have little choice but to play moderator.

  10. Fair play Bob, but just to make it clear to anyone who thinks you are encouraging this “individual” that is just light years away from the truth.

    As you say there are many things wrong with no one able to give answers to these problems.

    Kind regards

  11. Great DVDS Bob, and great service ordered yesterday arrived today Tuesday, not sure about the beep beep alarm going off when your talking in the tackle shop in volume 3, thought it was my smoke alarm. made me move a bit fast i can tell you. Regards Ray Thorpe

  12. Hey Bob, a certain “friend” of ours says I’m getting just like you.
    Is that a compliment,do you think? ;o)

  13. I’d be worried then Fred. Apparently I’m a wrong ‘un!

    Saying that, I’d like to have the time to be one…

  14. I agree with you about the early season barbellers Bob and usually take a back seat in June. However, the hot spell a week or so ago had the barbel spawning hard, even beating the chub to the gravels. So I may have an early season dabble this year, we’ll see.

    Oh, and your interpretation of the Olympic mascots…. they do say that you see what you are looking for 😉 Care to comment?

    One last thing – do you advertise on Steve Pope’s blog like he does on yours?

  15. Dear Bob,
    You are certainly not a “wrong un” mate far from it you are about the only one who has the brass balls to tell it how it is, much to the disapproval of some I might add!

    I really wonder just how Steve Pope reaches some of his conclusions, I read on his blog that anyone who criticises him are either sad or need help and that there are only 0.1 of us. I can assure him that personally I am neither sad or in need of assistance from the DCI.

    I don’t have a blog to hide behind that’s what I call sad and being in denial of the truth. Only my opinion mind but one I think Steve Pope will find many are in agreement with.

    Hope your start to the river season goes well Bob.
    Tight lines for now.


  16. Oh dear ,what a sad sad man, nearly 15 years since not getting his own way and still he goes on and on.
    I suggested you didn’t encourage him Bob, now look what you’ve got, a permanent whinge on your fine Blog.

  17. Fred,
    I am sure Bob needs no suggestions from you on how his blog goes or who he allows to post on it. If Bob feels the need to censure me he will politely do so and no humbridge will be taken by me.

    Your views or opinions that I am sad are exactly that just views and opinions of course you are fully entitled to have them. On the other hand you to could be viewed as the sad one by the very fact you are always the first to post in Steve Pope’s defence. A path you follow blindly and without question and have always done so.

    I do agree with you on one thing however Bob is like Mr Kippling he produces an exceedingly good blog.


  18. Ray, I may be the first, but I’ve worked with Steve for few years now, which is more than you ever did.So I think I know the man a good deal better than a yesterday man.
    Quite honestly your little outbursts over the years appear to have no substance, and are just what they appear to be, whinges.

    Chris Andrews by the way

  19. Bob,
    I have to make a public apology to you; it seems my postings are causing Fred some concern! Please remove my posts if you think them inappropriate or offensive.

    Fred, once again you burst in knowing nothing of any history between Steve Pope and me. But I forgive you for just following blindly and without thought or care.

    I have too say that for one who criticised Bob at every opportunity you could find in the past I find your condemnation of my criticism of Steve Pope quite hypocritical.As for yesterday men there are quite a few who cliam they could not work with Steve Pope are they all wrong.

    Contrary to your beliefs Fred my “outbursts” as you call them have substance in abundance, all you need to do is follow the lead set by many of your members, just open your eyes to the truth.

    So Bob please accept my humble apology.

    However I make no apology to either Steve Pope or Fred Bonney for telling the truth.

    Kind regards

  20. It may have helped Ray if you told us something, then we would know if it’s the truth!You’ve said nothing at all just rants

    My apologies too Bob for responding on your Blog to personal attacks by this individual, who has no substance, and just could not have things,like others, his way.

  21. You can also delete all my posts Bob, responding to this offensive individual.

  22. i agree ! il say this though,”this fred bonney seems to pop up evrywere” hes on nearly every fishing forum there is,and having read his comments on other forums and on here he just posts to make up the numbers…(very cloak and dagger)definently not my cup of tea! “get a life” f.b

  23. Hi Bob,
    This is the second of your blogs I have read and found totally entertaining.
    I love the football banter the most as at the end of the day the banter and the bragging rights are the best that most of us can hope for on a Monday.
    As for the close season I agree that it needs to change but, it could be hard to pin down a time period to satisfy both the fishes need to spawn the anglers need to get on the banks.
    A few weeks back I got a copy of your first DVD, I found it a real eye opener and will soon be ordering volume 2.
    All the best for the coming season (to all)


  24. Blimey, it sounds like one or two commentors need to get out & about more often than not.:)

  25. Ray wrote; “I also read the stick he got about the non use of an unhooking mat while Tench fishing perhaps you could enlighten him?”

    This being in reference to my jovial jibe at Graham (Silverfox) Elliott’s lack of an unhooking mat.
    Firstly the post was clearly made in jest and secondly, if you or anybody else believes that unhooking mats are oh so nescessary, my response is, dream on!
    Common sense should dictate when I and other responible anglers use one, not over zealous do-gooders and know it alls…

  26. Blimey, it took longer to read the rants at the bottom of the blog than the blog itself! Problem is, i don’t know which was more entertaining, the blog or the rants?!?!?!


  27. Gentlemen,

    I am going to leave the tit-for-tat postings of Fred and Ray on here for one last time. Guys, I’m flattered that you come here and read the blog and that you both clearly enjoy it. The thing is, your arguments tend to wander off-topic and it’s obvious to a blind man that you don’t see eye-to-eye.

    I do wish you’d email each other privately to discuss the finer points of your views because it’s obvious you’ve both got firm views on what’s right and what’s wrong. I can’t change that and me hosting the spat won’t resolve anything, either.

    I’ve no wish to ban anyone or to remove their freedom of speech. Crikey, I even allow some of the ‘Silverfox’s more deranged posts to stand but that’s because he’s normally attacking me rather than a third party.

    The trouble is, when two people start going at it hammer and tongues the inevitable consequence is that others jump in with their two-penneth and then we get mayhem and the only solution is to withdraw the comment facility which I really do not want to do.

    So please, enjoy the blog but try and refrain from getting too personal with your responses. Mild jibes are fine. Tell me I’m talking twaddle by all means, but let’s just try and keep everything in proportion.