2010 – Late November Blog

With the Trent still high and carrying colour there was only one place to be and one species to target. Barbel. Unfortunately the river dropped a full four feet in two days during which gales had swept over the country depositing millions of leaves in the river. A week ago the hedgerows had been bathed in yellows, reds and golds, today the branches were practically bare, such are the rapid changes we experience during an English autumn.

If anything the river was easier to fish with eight feet on. Certainly there was more swim choice. Anglers come out in force after a flood these days but most get there too late. The best of the barbel fishing usually comes in the first 24 hours of the rise, not as the old books and articles will tell you, when the river’s fining off.

Turning up late afternoon optimises the best time to fish, you’d think, but the prime pegs are often taken and it’s interesting to hear these guys have caught in daylight. Have I got it wrong that barbel turn more nocturnal at this time of year? If so, why am I fishing into the dark?

Hey-ho, I took Hobson’s choice with the swim and chucked a 6oz Fisky Feeder well upstream loaded with pellets. Time was when I would have been fishing flavoured meat, or maggots, but Trent fish are so conditioned to finding pellets I do believe they think they occur naturally. Certainly they are taken all year round on this river and before anyone starts moaningabout slow digestion rates and stopping fish from feeding for days on end the Trent is a BIG river. It has lots of barbel. The volume of pellets introduced by anglers, summer and winter, is minimal. Get over it!

I’d barely got my second rod out when the tip of the first one hooped over. Fish on! Not a big one but welcome all the same. Another followed and I began to feel confident as darkness gathered in around me.

Alas that was to be the last of the action. Two twilight trips in three days, each around four hours long, split equally between daylight and darkness, five fish, four in daylight, one in the gloom. Maybe I do have it wrong. Or maybe they switch on after I leave?

Who can tell, unless they put in a lot more hours than I do. Unfortunately I’ve no desire to do that when the tackle is being obliterated by leaves and debris every single cast. One thing’s for sure, fishing in daylight is a whole lot easier and more pleasant.

As an aside, every single one of the anglers I spoke to on the bank mentioned this blog. It was the same story in Norfolk, and in Devon the week before. Thank you all for the feedback. I know I write it for me, because I frankly enjoy writing and taking pictures, but I’m glad you all enjoy it, too. Getting lots of positive messages through the site, as well. It’s much appreciated.

Lobbing In The Towel

Monday morning brought a shock to the system. A thick frost coated the landscape. It’ll be a while before barbel fishing is worthwhile. Time to think about pike and perch, not to mention chub and grayling. Or maybe dace.

I’ve a bucket of lobworms in the garage. They’ve been patiently waiting for me to decide I was going perch fishing. With frost forecast again on Tuesday but rising temperatures through the day I quite fancied a session on the local canal. No point in an early start though. Perhaps I’d drop down around lunchtime and fish until dark.

That sounded like a great plan until I checked the worms. Oh dear, every one a gonner. Brown bread. And smelly. F***…!!!! I bet the big girls fed, too. But I’ll be back, don’t worry.

Who Hates Meeces To Pieces?

I’m fortunate to have a friend in pest control. I’ve scratched his back in the past, he kindly scratches mine today. Very decent of him. Too many folk judge us by what we can do for them today rather than yesterday. It’s nice to have someone who remembers. A call at the end of harvesting sees my ‘rodent management system’ re-baited and the problem goes away, or rather it doesn’t materialise. Cheers mate.

Of course, he can have as many free DVDs as he likes in return!

He emailed this week asking had I seen the thread on Fatwa World? The one about cuddly little terrors that munch their way through bait, tackle, electric cables, drain pipes, you name it. ‘I don’t really like to kill them…’ Says one guy.

Of course not… You’re all heart.

“I sometimes get asked at work, ‘Do I have to kill the species they have called me out to control?'” Wrote my mate.

“Well, if I could catch it live and then give it to some else, then they employed me as well. That would be great for business!”He quipped.

And do you know why we are supposed to put the toilet seat down when we go to the loo? No, not because the missus says you’ve got to. This is a fact; a very disturbing fact. It is not an urban myth, either. Rats can and do traverse the sewers and they really can scale a toilet waste pipe…

Putting the seat down means they cannot get out of the bowl. Scary, eh? Don’t tell the missus though!

Into The Valley

You may recall I mentioned bumping into John Bailey in the mid-November blog and that he’d been out piking with a guest and that guest had landed a cracking pike weighing 29lb 8oz. Wow! Some pike. Well, John’s kindly sent me a picture and it would be rude of me not to share it with you.

John does a bit of guiding as you probably know and full details can be found on his delightful web site, Fisherman’s Valley.

If you’d like to watch numerous Bailey videos including the entire John Bailey on the Fly series then make sure you click here. Indeed there are lots of clips to amuse and entertain you including in the tips section.

If you fancy fishing at Kingfisher lakes and staying in the rather well appointed accommodation then click here for details.

Sorry Helen, You’ve Got It Wrong

Dame Helen Mirren appears concerned that folk on the old Internet are all rather nasty. Can’t imagine where she gets that from. ; -) If truth be told the Internet isn’t a bad place, it just gives a few disaffected souls a place to SHOUT as much as they damn well like. It’s easy to think they must have some moral justification for their outbursts. After all no sane person would possibly act like that if they were so wrong, would they?

And then you realise, they’re not.

Sane that is.

I can see where she’s coming from and there have been times when I’ve wondered if I was totally out of step with the entire world. But you never actually meet a soul in the real world who shares these negative views. Or is anywhere near so bitter. Eventually it dawns on you that it’s the same old faces, the same bunch of trouble makers, every time, who are so disaffected from society on the whole that this kind of behaviour is normal to them. The keyboard is simply their weapon of choice while they dream of a retirement home in Roston Vasey..

So there you have it, Internet folk on the whole are just like you and me. Normal. (…ish)

‘Tis just the minority who give it a bad name.

On the other hand…

Tweet At Your Peril, Spartacus

How crazy is our justice system when a 27-year-old accountant frustratedly Tweets a joke about Robin Hood Airport and ends up jobless and facing financial ruin? No one in this world took him seriously outside of the judge at Doncaster Crown Court.

Now his Tweet is being broadcast worldwide by thousands of other Tweeters following the ‘I am Spartacus’ model. 15,000 people worldwide have since threatened to blow up Robin Hood Airport in an act of defiance.

As I write the archives of Barbel Fishing Ain’t My World are probably being hastily deleted! 😉


Pedro’s Barbel

Dear old Peter Rowe. Can it really be nearly 15 years since we met? The pace at which time flies by is positively frightening. Peter and wife Cheryl live in Nottingham but have somewhat fallen for the lifestyle and atmosphere of Anglers Paradise. Peter’s a bit of a chef on the quiet and loves nothing more than cooking. I can tell you from experience that he’s pretty damn good, too.

Anyway, he dropped me a mysterious email indicating that all would be revealed soon. I guessed it would entail cooking and Anglers Paradise so sure enough, when he revealed all it was no great surprise.

He and Cheryl look set to spend the next summer working at Anglers Paradise offering a food service. Breakfasts for those who can’t, won’t or simply can’t be bothered to cook and helping out on other aspects of the catering operation. Cheryl also happens to be a masseuse and it’s hoped she’ll be able to turn her hand to a bit of manipulation, too.

Peter will miss his barbel fishing, mind though he’s not what you would call a serious Trent angler, but living close to the river does throw up opportunities and this year he was rewarded with his first double, a fish I know he’s been keen to catch for quite a while. Well done sir!

Even though this picture was taken on his mobile phone I do hope you all appreciate how I’ve Photoshopped any trace of the background out of the shot so his secret swim will remain just that, even though he won’t be around to fish it next summer… 😉

Some Days It’s Just Nice To Be There

Another friend emailed to say he was off to the Trent the day following my last jaunt. Send me a picture, I urged. So he did.

This is his rod tip poking up into a clear autumnal sky. Unfortunately there were no fish to show for his efforts so it doesn’t really matter that I’m sharing his swim with you. After all, who goes chasing swims where folk blank!

Some of us truly appreciate why it’s called fishing and not catching for a good reason.

Those who go chasing other’s fish don’t, that’s for sure.

Gunthorpe To Become Self Sufficient In Energy

Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. The Trent is one of the UK’s biggest rivers and those regularly spaced weirs (there’s one for roughly every 4 miles in the middle reaches) were bound to be harnessed sooner or later. It’s power going begging in a renewables world.

The Environment Agency is raising no objections to proposals at Gunthorpe so it looks very much like it will happen. Not going down too well with some anglers mind, but I do think they’re missing the most important point. The weir sill is to be raised by 60cm (2 feet). The same amount of water will flow over the weir but it’ll be concentrated so that 85% goes through the turbines which means flow patterns below the weir will alter.

“What about our barbel fishing?” Is the major worry. Well, probably nothing. Except the fish may relocate to the area below the turbine. Who knows, it might even improve the fishing – that’s something none of us will know until it’s built. The slower area that’s created below the weir might provide fantastic bream and pike fishing. Again, we don’t know. The impact on spawning might even be a positive one.

I appreciate we don’t like change but why is it the few who fish for barbel below the weir who are complaining loudest? The folk who stand to be affected most are those who fish abovethe weir on the Burton Joyce and Shelford stretches. An extra 2 feet of water will slow the flow. Several superb barbel areas will definitely be affected. Indeed it may prove nigh-on impossible to fish below Stoke Bardolph weir as the water level rises.

Those popular barbel pegs in the Nelson Field will prove a mite tricky with sunken rocks extending 10 yards out into the river. It’ll be tricky trying to fish past them without losing boat loads of tackle, but maybe the biggest impact will be the slower flows which will definitely change the habitat. Great for bream, carp, chub even, and silver fish – were it not for the black luftaffe which will find the prey fish even easier to catch.

That’s what I’m really worried about. East Bridgeford, Gunthorpe (lower), Caythorpe and Hoveringham will be fine.

Even The Pope’s On Facebook

First the Queen, now we’ve got the Popeon Facebook. That’s Steve Pope by the way, not that old duffer from the Vatican. Mind you chances are he’ll be on there somewhere. And God if I’m not mistaken. (That’ll be me arrested then – religious persecution!)

I’ve got a problem with Facebook. I don’t understand it. Yes I’ve got a page buried on there somewhere, not that I have added anything to it, although I still get folk askingto be my friend and inviting me to be theirs, but I just don’t understand the protocol. How does it work? Should I be making my page an active one or will it just invite a load of trouble I don’t need?

It’s already like I’m ignoring people who have bothered to send an invite and as for ‘poking’, that’s only ever got me into trouble in the past!

But Steve’s got 75 ‘friends’ already. How do you keep in touch with so many? Beggars the life out of me. You don’t make scores of instant friends without making a few enemies either, and besides, this blogs turning into a millstone as it is.

Facebookcould be the end of my social life, not the beginning. I’m telling you, it scares the hell out of me…

Corr, Pucker Totty!

I do like me gadgets and electronic bits and pieces, even if I haven’t a clue how to use most of them but what would life be without my Bose docking station, Robbi DAB and Senseo coffee maker?. Which brings me to a gadget man’s dream. No, not the latest Ipad, I’m talking Suzi Perry from the Gadget Show. By gum, check out those grey boots in the latest episeode. What a pair of pins! Sorry ladies but sometimes we blokes can’t help ourselves…

Oh dear! Cue emails of complaint from outraged ladies!!!

I watched episode 15 the other morning and even my missus had to confess old Suzi’s a bit of a stunner. Not that I’ve any complaints at home, but does anyone object if we go to an art gallery and look at paintings that we have no intention of buying? Doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate them, does it? And I’m just appreciating Ms Perry in a very complimentary way. After all, if the current BBC tribunal is anything to go by she won’t be around much longer anyway as she’ll be getting too old for presenting on TV soon…

What a farce, eh? Yes, someone’s realised that TV presenters need to be a little easy on the eye, although I personally prefer someone who’s got something to say. If a presenter has a few laughter lines but does a good job then you’ll hear no complaints from me.

The phrase voice for TV, face for radio isn’t exactly a new one, is it? But I do draw the line at Anne Widdecombe.

And by the way, will someone tell that silicone plumped Barbie Doll, currently calling herself Katie Price, that Suzi Perry is what a normal bloke thinks a truly beautiful woman looks like. Jordan? Yeukkkhh!

The Promise That Fails To Deliver

The ‘new’ Springstein album, Promises may thrill Brucie’s fans but I have to say on first hearing that it’s something of a disappointment. Recorded 33 years ago – yes, where DOES the time go(?),it’s a double album recorded twixt Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Maybe it’ll grow on me but if it doesn’t click on the next hearing I’m afraid it’ll gather dust like so many others we have high hopes of.

I’m not too thrilled by the new and much hyped Ray Davies album, See My Friends, either. What’s the point, really? Davies duets on a bunch of his much loved classics but as a piece of work it comes across disjointed. Do we really need another version of Waterloo Sunset, Lola, You Really Got Me or all Day and All Of The Night?

In the same way that Bowie’s Pin-Ups did nothing but water down the originals, nor did it compare favourably with Bowie’s own back catalogue, See My Friends might better have been called See My Ego. I don’t actually understand why the guest artists felt any need to record duets when the weakest vocal contributions on each track are invariably from Davies.

Kinks songs are nice when performed as a tribute during an encore rather than as a set of back-to-back cover versions, diluted by the author. Shame really, I expected to like it more.

Anyway, don’t take my word for it, click hereand scroll down to hear samples of the Springstein recordings, and here for Ray Davies’ Friends.

Gone Phishing…

I received an email the other day advising me I had a problem. It read:


Your mailbox has exceeded one or more size limits set by your administrator.
Your mailbox size is 102145 KB.
Mailbox size limits:

You will receive a warning when your mailbox reaches 90000 KB.
You cannot send mail when your mailbox reaches 100000 KB.
You cannot send or receive mail when your mailbox reaches 100000 KB.You
may not be able to send or receive new mail until you reduce your mailbox
To make more space available,


Failure To Click This Link And Validate Your Quota may result In Loss Of
Important Information In Your Mailbox/Or Cause Limited Access To It.

Now I get a lot of emails through this web site containing images, visitor messages, ‘Contact Bob’ emails and I also get loads of match results for the Green Un Club Match Angler Championship, so this official looking alert appeared to be pretty credible.

However, just before I clicked on the link I stopped and thought, hang on, I’m nowhere near my limit because I check that regularly. So instead I clicked on the ‘show details’ icon. Low and behold I discovered the sender, ‘ADMIN’ was someone called Sexy Jeffrey and he had a Hotmail address…

fromADMIN <admin@helpdesk.org> reply-tosexy_jeffrido@hotmail.com

Now why would Sky contact me through a Hotmail address? That rang alarm bells so I reported it. But it just goes to show how easy you can be suckered in by those who go phishing around for your details…

The World Below

James Gould emailed a slideshow the other day that I’ve stuck on my Scribd Page. Unfortunately I can’t get the music to play on that version and I know of no other way of hosting it, sadly. It’s a collection of underwater images by photographer David Doubilet and they are quite astonishing. Enough to make me check out the guy’s web site. Take a look around his galleries if you’ve a few minutes to spare…

It Wouldn’t Be A Bob Blog without The Footy Bit, Would It? 

After drawing at Burnley and winning at Portsmouth little old Donny, the inglorious pub team that everyone tends to dismiss, has risen to level points with a play-off place in the Championship. Don’t be alarmed though, vertigo will set in again soon as I can see another wobble looming on the horizon. After all we’ve a pretty ordinary (patched-up) defence and our star striker is out injured so it’s astonishing to realise we’ve scored 18 goals in our last 9 games. During our first season in this league (2008/9) we only scored a dozen in total up to Christmas Day.

Nevertheless I get a little tired of media folk and opposition fans who spout, “We should be beating teams LIKE Doncaster”.

Err, why is that exactly?

The latest to come out with similar sentiments on National Radio is Ian ‘the Moose’ Abrahamson Talk Sport. West Ham loving Abrahams said, “If we don’t turn the corner soon we’ll be playing teams LIKE Scunthorpe and Barnsley next season!”

How patronising. By ‘LIKE’ I suppose he means well managed clubs that haven’t squandered fortunes on ineffective players earning high wages and have run up massive debts in the process. They’re pinning their hopes on relocating to an athletics stadium built with Lottery cash while currently sitting rock bottom of the Premiership.

West Ham have taken just 9 points from 13 games this season (0.69 points per game) with a goal difference of minus eleven. A third of the season gone and they have won just ONE game.

Just think on you ‘Ammers, you were relegated in 2003 with 42 points so this should be your minimum target for survival if you hope to avoid playing the LIKESof Doncasternext year (assuming by some miracle we don’t replace you in the Premiership!). To achieve 42 points West Ham will have to take an average of 1.32 points from each of their remaining fixtures. Easy enough?

Well Tottenham are having another fantastic season and so far they have only averaged 1.46 points per game. In other words, West Ham must now match the form of Spurs for the rest of the season or they could very likely be relegated. And as Portsmouth have discovered to their cost, you’ll end up playing the ‘likes’of Scunthorpe and Barnsley every week and it ain’t a stroll in the park. In fact you’ll discover these teams are capable of playing some cracking football and they’ll take great pride in punishing your arrogance.

So leave us alone, eh?

And just in case you think you’ll romp the Championship next season, just bear in mind these Portsmouth fans’ forum comments:

“Call me arrogant but I wasn’t overly concerned at half time, as we’ve got the quality to pull ourselves out of the fire (we’re better than Doncaster man for man)”

“The first PFC manager to lose at home to Doncaster. …Well done Cotterill.”

“I am Portsmouth-born and am very intolerant of a manager whose team can’t defend, can’t pass and move and lose to Doncaster.”

“I expected some struggles this season against the better more experienced teams in the division but come on this was Doncaster f***ing Rovers”

“Now, Cotterill. He has no pedigree beyond a Championship relegation scrap. If anything someone like O’Driscoll would be better. Doncaster AREthe Arsenal of the Championship……. We need someone like an O’Driscoll to manage here next season.”

“I would seriously look at O’Driscolland his bringing a lot of his players with him.”

“Overall, Doncaster looked well coached, passed the ball well and deserved the win, as we were masters of our own downfall. I thought their bald right back had a cracking game. Hate to say it but we looked nowhere near as well drilled as Doncaster today.”

“Agree, on that display Donny are decent, young, bright & industrious. They weaved patterns around us & through especially 1st half.

Good luck to them & Derby (they lost today). Both play some lovely stuff.”

Rude awakening in store, Moose, if you’re not careful, methinks…

5 thoughts on “2010 – Late November Blog

  1. Loving the blog Bob, enjoyed the last ones as well, all first rate stuff!

    Get yourself on Facebook, traffic to your website will double, well increase anyway, you will end up with 1000 friends in no time at all.

    You’re so right about the people out there who look in, there are lots and the responsibility then is to keep them looking in and entertained as well.

    I had an enquiry last week from a guy in America who hasn’t a clue what a barbel is but he wanted a reel and said he loved my site, the world just keeps getting smaller.

    I totally ignore anyone who gives me any kind of grief whatsoever, it really is best to say nothing if you can’t say anything nice or positive, every one I speak to says exactly the same. Keeps me totally sane.

    I’m waiting for my missus to buy the Bruce box set with the dvd’s so I’ll reserve comment until it arrives, in the meantime I’m reading “Life” and I’m sure I’ll get some sort of inspiration from that, as the man said, its good to be here…………..its good to be anywhere!

    Keep ’em coming Bob.

    All the best,


  2. Thanks for that Steve. Much appreciated.

    David Hall (the publisher) once said to me, long before there was an Internet:

    “Bob, ninety-eight per cent of the the people in this world will like you but no matter what you do the other two per cent never will. Just concentrate on the 98 per cent and you’ll enjoy a happy life.”

    I don’t think it’s even two per cent, in fact I know. Over 97,000 page hits in four months suggests I’m getting something right. The detractors can be counted on my toes. Go figure folks!

    On the other hand, a bit of pest control never goes amiss… 😉

  3. Brilliant blog as usual Bob. PC sent for repair, on my daughters PC. Still haven’t caught a double figure barbel yet. Will have to wait until next year as my health won’t let me fish in cold weather.

    Looked at David Doubilet site, fantastic pictures.

    Been having attacks of Labarythntitus, walking like I’m drunk without that lovely feeling.

    Glad you like Spurs form. Supported them through thick and thin. Saw Jimmy Greaves (my hero) show and was dissapointed he does not like modern football or is he envious of the money they earn?

  4. Hi Ron,

    Sorry to hear the health’s not too good. Sometimes I wish I had a good excuse for not fishing in the coldest weather because it can be hard work!

    I’ve got Greavsies biography kicking around somewhere. What is it about football that drives players to drink? They should try watching it…

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