Where’s the time going? The sand seems to be racing out of the egg timer neck at a frightning rate and it’s all I can do to keep up. Guess it’s my brain’s way of saying slow down, Bob.
This past fortnight I’ve been up to all sorts. Last Friday I had the priviledge of travelling down to London with carper Brian Skoyles who was appearing on Sky’s Tight Lines programme. It’s the first time I’ve ever been there when I wasn’t appearing on the show and was able to see things from the production side for a change. You know what, I enjoyed it more than appearing on the show. It was genuinely fascinating.
Normally I go down there and meet up with Mick Brais and his immediate team, which numbers about three on a good day, plus Keith. It never occurred to me how many staff were involved up in the gallery when the show is taped. Good grief, there must be about 20 of them! More if you count the cameramen, make-up artists and so on. It really is an eye opener.
Now many folk ask if the bothy is real? The show actually receives emails asking where the bothy is. Well, here’s a picture I took through the bothy window, from the outside. How could I do that if it’s not real eh…? 😉
On leaving the show, Brian and I had to make our way to the other side of London in the rush hour. Thank God he was driving. It was rather nice to take in the West End, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, The Tower, Canary Wharf, Limehouse, Wapping and onwards towards Essex. How anyone finds pleasure in driving through the traffic I’ll never know and boy are these folk impatient. Whatever you do don’t get in the wrong lane as no-one is going to let you in. Still, old Bri made it, somehow.
Larger Than Life In Essex
We had been asked to attend an open day at the Gone Fishing superstore on Canvey Island the following day and I have to say I was genuinely shocked when I walked in through the door because there staring back at me above the entrance stairs was a billboard sized poster of myself. Seriously I had no idea and it’s an absolute first for me. Bloomin’ heck!
Like all these shop days, it’s a great opportunity to catch up with a few old friends, John Wilson was there, as was Chris Ball, Gary Bayes, Dave Chilton, Neil Waite and loads of others. It also gives you a chance to make excellent contacts and I’m now looking forward to a very special chubbing opportunity thanks to an introduction Brian made for me.
I doubt if it was ever this bloke’s intention, but David @sodhamhall has just gone viral. I suspect he was so excited to catch a personal best barbel weighing 13lb 2oz that he emailed all his friends with the message ‘Just to prove I CAN catch something!’
Unfortunately, and I’m guessing here, he’s sent the email to everyone in his address book, or possibly everyone who’s ever sent him an email, though why Kate Walker received a copy she has no idea, so she sent it on to me, and I’m none the wiser so I’m sending it on to all of you. But if everyone who has no interest in fishing sends it on to someone they think might be interested and they do something similar then who knows where it will end.
David, you’ve gone viral. Your capture has reached cyberspace and it’s now on a course of its own. I’m guessing he’s a Barbel Days And Ways customer and if so we salute you. Now do me a favour and post this on every forum and web site you can think of – it’ll be a bit of fun!
It’s Perch Time
Alan Dudhill is my local Pike Anglers Club od Great Britain Regional Organiser. We fished together last autumn and have kept in touch ever since, occasionally bumping into each other on local venues. Al has kindly offered to write a few predator articles for the site so that will be nice. Indeed I’ll be setting up a separate area of the site for the ‘pikey’ stuff as soon as I get a chance.
Meanwhile he’s sent me some cracking pictures of a perch he had from Alderfen Fishery at just under 4lb. He’d tried worm & maggots but the big perch wanted livebaits.
Switching to a 3″ rudd mounted in the way shown in the picture he used one of his own specially improvised rigs – float legered paternoster with rotary mono trace, size 10 Kamasan X-Animal barbless hooks with bait secured with a little silicone tubing, a large pellet waggler, pinned down with a 2oz lead.
Free-roamers set shallow also worked. If you try this set-up you must set the rotary (helicopter) so your bait can’t reach the float or lead.
There do seem to be some good perch around these days in all manner of places. Ron Clay sent me a picture of the ‘three’ he had from the Trent a couple of weeks back, too. Can’t remember now what the ounces were but I think it was 3-2. Well done Ron!
I’m not giving anything away by telling you he had it on maggots – the clue’s on its tail!
You Beauty James!
While I was away in Essex James and Stu went out filming for our Caught In The Act project. The target species was perch and boy, did they deliver.
This 4lb plus perch was caught for the camera and when I say caught for the camera, every single step of the process was captured from baiting the hook, casting, the bite, the strike, the action and landing. None of your mocked-up bites or ‘here’s one we caught earlier’ footage. No, they nailed this one with the cameras rolling and just for good measure we have underwater footage as well.
We’ve actually been making some good progress this past week. Stu and I tackled a large estate lake hoping to catch some bream. We fished proper tactics, none of your bite alarms and bolt rigs, just quiver tips and feeders at long range. A near flat lake and clear blue skies made for a slow start but as the wind freshened and some cloud cover came over we began to attract a bit of interest. Ignoring the pike that grabbed my hookbait as I retrieved and a lone tench we netted 8 bream. One was a runt of about 5lb, the rest were over 8lb with five over 9lb.
Even so, we might go back and film again because we both felt we could do slightly better with a refinement here and there.
It’s A Pleasure To Help
It was a pleasant change to receive a complimentary email from a happy site visitor. Actually that’s an exaggeration. I get lots of nice emails, just the odd ones from complete knobs tend to grab and hold your attention. It read:
Took a look at the collingham stretch but according to local anglers it wasn’t performing too good. Anyway got some directions to bobs island and went to take a look.
Nice place, shame about the litter but the fishing was great. First day a couple of pegs down from the weir and on my very first cast a lovely barbel of around 5lb. Free lined luncheon meat under the tree’s on the far side. Couldn’t believe it, went on to catch six more of a similar size and two nice chub. Well pleased.
Please find attatched a couple of pics the wife took – not the best but you get the idea. Cant wait to get back up there, and looking forward to maybe landing a bigger barbel next time.
Just for a change I went out with my old buddy Trev Empson last week. He assured me that I’d love a new fishery that had opened up at Sykehouse. It’s a commercial with a slight twist in that it was dug and stocked 7 years ago but has lain fallow for most of the time since then. As a result the fish are in pristine condition and the fishery itself is immaculate.
We began fishing shallow with the splasher waggler. The fish might not have been hammered to hard yet but they’re certainly a bit cute, although the wind didn’t help much. I half expected these fish to hook theirselves but almost every bite had to be struck and there’s the dilemma. You need three hands, two for the catapult and one for striking because the bites always seemed to come when I had a catty in my hand.
mark Price, the tackle dealer from Stainfortch Angling Centre eventually put me out of my misery by explaining the correct casting, feeding, counting and repeating routine. I guess I had about 70lb which isn’t a ridiculous amount of fish from a commercial but it was enough. In fact it was just the right amout as it kept me interested and having to work for every fish I hooked.
Sykehouse Fisheries coasts £6 a day to fish and the owner can be contacted on 01405 785403 or 07885 745538. You have to use the fishery’s own pellets but they are available for the bargain price of just £1 a bag. Sat Nav users need to dial in DN14 9AJ to find the place.
Doesn’t Pay To Get Too Cocky
You could say I’ve been on a roll recently, catching fish for fun. Oh well, it all comes to an end sometime, eh?
I decided I needed to catch myself a few pike baits and the tidal Don seemed like the obvious place. After all, no club owns the fishing rights and it is absolutely stuffed with fish so a few baits wouldn’t be missed. I turned up full of confidence and was wondering what I’d do after catching what I needed. Would I stay on the river and try to catch a pike or go elsewhere?
Well, two hours later and with a dry net in front of me it was time to consider a plan B. The Don is a delight when they’re having it but it’s a muddy sh**hole when they’re not!
I roved around for a while and yes, I caught a pound chub, a roach and a perch, but that was my lot. No dace whatsoever and the place is normally teeming with them. Oh well. An early bath beckoned.
Here’s One The Otters Won’t Get!
I love the idea that the RSPB members have become alarmed that certain species of birds in Norfolk are being so adversely affected by otter predation that they have had to step in and take action. Apparently they are being trapped and transported to Kent because they don’t think Kent has enough of these pests yet.
So when Kent’s full, where will they ship them next? It’s the first sign that these feather brained idiots are at last waking up to the fact that otters are omnivorous and when they run out of fish then their feathered friends are on the menu, too. The solution is not to move them on like travellers, it’s to treat like any other kind of vermin that gets out of control. They should be treated in exactly the same way as stray dogs on farmland that worry livestocks, the same way as a fox in a hen coup and the same way as mice in your tackle shed.
The absolte beauty and symetry of nature redressing the balance is shown in this video clip. Cormorants and otters are eating a disproportionate amount of fish, tipping the balance and impacting on the natural balance, so I love the way this pike supplements its diet with the next obvious alternative to fish – a duckling. Eat your hearts out birdlovers!
Warriors? Don’t Make Me Laugh
Don’t you just love the internet? Couldn’t live without it these days, but isn’t it such a shame that it’s become the chosen weapon of abuse for a whole bunch of scum? Internet warroirs they think of themselves as.
Sadly they’re not warriors at all. They’re cowards. Folk who’d get flattened if they behaved in a similar way down the pub. Folk who frequently act their shoe size rather than their age and folk, who judging by their comments, have an IQ no higher than that of a sewer rat.
The idea that someone using a false name to retain his anonymity, then broadcasts lies and insults from the safety of his bedroom is a ‘warrior’ is a joke. These are pathetic misfits, desperately seeking attention but afraid to stand up and be counted. They’re parasites who prey on the achievements of others, presumably driven by insane jealousy. What truly shallow lives they must lead.
In societies where a specialized warrior class does exist there is always an ethical code of conduct, established to ensure that the warrior class is not corrupted or otherwise dangerous to the rest of society. Think Zulus, Gurkhas, Mongols, Vikings and Red Indians. Think gladiators and even modern day boxers if you like. A warrior has attributes like honour, faith, loyalty and courage. He (or she) is brave and prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.
No, I think we’ll have to agree that keyboard warriors are simply limp wristed wimps.
But they do love to try and upset others from the safety of their secret bunkers, don’t they? I had an email the other day from a rather upset web site owner. ‘I used to hold you in the highest regard but not now. How dare you write such hurtful and unfair comments on my site? You think people are beneath you. It’s an absolute disgrace!’ And so it went on.
Plain truth of the matter was I hadn’t a clue who he was, nor was I familiar with his web site nor had I the feintest idea what he was talking about. It turns out some knob jockey had paid a visit to his site and left some abusive comments before signing himself off as Bob Roberts. Oh well, they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. A complaint has been submitted to Google who will investigate. It will be interesting if they determine who actually left the comment. In fact it could prove very interesting…
Then there was a comment left on a popular web forum by yet another disaffected coward hiding behind a false name. He’d chosen the name of a Shakespearean character for his malice. One who, in the play, is engaged in a cycle of revenge. It is Shakespeare’s bloodiest and most violent work, and traditionally is one of his least respected plays. How fitting.
So I checked out his profile and guess what? He had provided no personal details and had zero friends. That’s not a warrior, that’s just a snivelling coward with no balls! His grand total of posts using that name amounted to 18, almost every one of which was an attack on Steve Pope, Fred Bonney or me. Hmmm…, I wonder who that might be then?
Get this though. It turns out his real name is Adrian Williams, a poor excuse for a ‘man’ that I had to ban from from posting any further comments on this siteway back in March and who appears to struggle with the weight of the huge chips he carries on his shoulders. Seems his obsession with me hasn’t gone away then. I can’t help but wonder if it was him who tried to leave a more recent comment that read: ‘Get a life fred and go and f*** yourself. you are a c*** face.’ But then again, it’s hard to be certain because there are so many of these pathetic little faggots out there in cyberland ar wherever they like to call it.
What planet are these people on? Do they really think I’m ever going to publish something like that?
Guys, a word of advice. Instead of slagging everyone off that you choose to ‘hate’, why not go fishing instead. It’ll get you out in the fresh air and whilst you will probably never catch much, at least if you go more often you might get a bit better at it.
The episode got me to thinking. If they’re not warriors, what shall we call these keyboard terrorists then? Well how about Judes? It’s taken from a biblical text (Jude 1:16) and goes:
‘These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.’
Okay it’s not perfect but you know what? It’ll do for a start!