2016 Winter’s Coming Blog

2016 Autumn Cover

I can’t believe I’ve gone so long without blogging. I’m sorry if you’re one of the many who feel let down by my lack of diligence but there honestly aren’t enough hours available in the day and the old health has been problematic. Hopefully I’m through the other side with that and I’m feel as fit as a fiddle again. Can’t possibly catch up on everything I’ve been doing but with your indulgence I’ll try and give you a flavour of what I’ve been up to. Here are a few highlights.

Catch-up Time

I dropped into a super little fishery back in May called Candy Corner. Although a match water, I was there for the jewels in the crown. It holds a lot of crucian carp. And brown goldfish. To be honest, there are so few genuine crucians in my neck of the woods and practically none of any size, I’ll take the BGs as a bonus.

Crucian Bag

Well, you can judge for yourself. I filled my boots. Just a shame I was beaten up intermittently by big lumps of muscle. Imagine a commercial fishery that dared not to stock regular carp. It would be heaven. Quite like stepping through a time warp. Can you believe the first carp I ever saw in the flesh was in London Zoo? And that I was already a teenager? Wouldn’t happen today, would it?

Bri CarpJune was filled with highlights. A day out with Brian Skoyles saw him netting numerous commons. Meanwhile I had quality bream, perch and a hybrid that I initially mistook for the biggest roach I’d ever seen.

Big Hybrid copy

My heart was in my mouth when it surfaced but the truth was revealed as soon as the folds of the net were parted. Still, it was a belting fish. Amazing too, that we had completely different results whilst sharing the same peg. Just goes to show that what you catch is all to do with tactics and feeding.
Big Bream

June 16th was special in that I watched England snatch a tricky Euros win against Wales in a Newark pub before heading on to the Trent and catching a barbel on my very first cast. What a way to kick off a new river season. Size didn’t matter. I was back on my river again. Yes the first 2 months of lay-off were ridiculous. It was far too cold and wet for spawning (as ever), and if truth be told we were back way too early. Why, oh why can we not begin on July 1st? Anyone with half a brain must realise it makes more sense. But we’re stuck, at least FOR NOW, with the law of the land, as it is. Which means its a complete and utter ass.

Opening Day Barbel

But rules is rules and they’re there to be obeyed. I don’t care how much Passion you might have For Angling, the season starts on the 16th June, not the 13th or the 2nd, or perhaps some time that suits you in May. Like many I don’t agree with the timing of the current closed season but any angler who arranges a magazine shoot on a river, during the closed season, is not just a fool, he’s a pariah within our sport. A Judas who’ll sell his reputation for the sake of a few pounds. It’s taking the piss and I want no truck with such individuals. I don’t buy insincere remorse either. There is no parole for the crime. No time off for good behaviour. A deliberate act cannot be explained away as a mistake or a slight error of judgement. It was career suicide. That was the price all along and he well knew the consequences if caught. If you’re desperate enough to risk everything and still go ahead then be a man. Stand up and swallow it. Accept your fate. Then go away and crawl under a stone.

Action 2

Each summer I try to squeeze in a few trips to the Warping Drain. Weedy, overgrown and crystal clear, it holds a lot of tench but can be a fickle mare of a mistress. Some days the fishing is so easy, others it is rock hard. The place is so unpredictable yet so enjoyable.

Drain Tench 2

The fish aren’t monsters but who cares? They’re great fun on pole or waggler.

Quality roach

It’s been a great summer for silver fish on the Trent. Like turning back the clock, running a stick float through and expecting a bite on practically every cast. Doesn’t take long to get a shoal of roach, dace and the odd chub lined up but unfortunately you can expect barbel to butt in sooner or later. Yes, they too can be fun on float gear but only if you scale up enough to land them reasonably quickly whereas the key to success with silvers is scaling down. On the other hand, we mustn’t grumble. We now have the best of both worlds available.

Big Chub New Background

I did a bit of good old maggot feeder fishing this summer and have to say it scores over pellets and boilies most of the time when the river is low and clear.

Bridge Barbel FB

Whilst Facebook was littered with posts bemoaning the conditions and lack of fish, I was filling my boots with both quality chub and some good sized barbel.

Bridge Barbel 2

Proper dumpy lumps some of them were and this beastie fought harder than any other barbel I’ve ever hooked. Quite a thrill on 5lb line and a size 14 hook!

Big Barbel

Finding the time to return to Anglers Paradise has proved really tricky these past few years much to both my disappointment and that of Zyg. ‘When are you coming to see me, Wobbert?’ He keeps asking. So a date was fixed after the kids went back to school and I have to say my visit was fabulous. I didn’t set out to catch anything big. Just dabbled here and there on the float, mostly fishing shallow with a float and feeding pellets.

FB Carp

Alas the long summer days were slipping away and the first hint of autumn was obvious in the number of fog lights burning my retinas. What is it with folk and fog lights? They’re not mist lights. They’re not, oops, sorry, I forgot to turn them off lights. They’re a bloody menace in everything except in the conditions they are designed for. Here’s a clue. Think dense fog and heavy snowfall. They are not supposed to be used to distract and dazzle the guy behind you – turn the bloody things off won’t you!!!

Big Tailed Barbel

Anyway, however misty it might be on the roads, it’s a damn sight more like real fog on the river. But you know it won’t be long before the sun gets up and burns it all away bringing those brilliant blue skies and more scorched eyeballs from a sun that is clearly now much lower in the sky than it was a few weeks ago.

IYCF Barbel Wk2

Barbel are beginning to shoal. Swim choice becomes a lot more important but the upside is get that right and multiple catches are on the cards. Six or 8 fish in a daytime session is excellent sport and when fish are coming that quickly I like nothing better than a spot of touch legering. The shrill insistence of a Delkim might be heart stopping stuff but even that can’t match the thrill of a rod bursting into life in your hand when you least expect it.

Barbel Lump

Autumn is also the time when the bigger girls begin to put in an appearance. This is the time when I’m prepared to stay beyond dusk, just for a few hours. It’s not always necessary but it can pay off. I’m not one for camping by rods, snoring the night away and pretending I’ve earned anything that happens to hook itself and then wake me up. Yes, it’s effective. Yes, it’s probably the easiest way to target bigger fish, but it’s a bit like shooting tame pheasants on the ground rather than wild ones in flight. Each to their own, obviously, and yes, I’ve done my share of both. Perhaps you’ve got to catch enough of the easy fish before you are ready for a real challenge?

Brace Shot 4

Every now and then a plan comes together that you weren’t expecting. A double header on the first cast. One landing net, two fish. And what lumps they were. And again, you’ll notice that these and all the fish I’ve shared with you were caught in daylight. It can be done folks!

And then came a real highlight. Pristine roach that dreams are made of.

Roach 2-9

There’s something incredibly special about catching a 2lb roach by design. They are as rare as rocking horse droppings in my neck of the woods. Practically extinct. But they’re still to be found in many of the lakes around Oxford.  I fished the Linear complex with Brian Skoyles where we had 3 between 2lb 6oz and 2lb 9oz. Absolute minters! The kind of fish that had me dreaming of a return.

Returning Roach

In between times my popularity with the printed media remained healthy. Following on from a nice perch cover of the Angling Times…

AT Perch - Copy

I featured on the front of the Mail, not once, but twice! And all in the space of a month. Crikey.

Mail Cover action

What made that especially pleasing was that I’ve never before graced the Mail’s cover so it was another tick on the fishing bucket list.

Mail Cover barbel

Doesn’t get much better when you’re a self-confessed media tart, eh!

Okay, I’m showing off, but as the saying goes a successful angler doesn’t walk home down a dark alley. In other words he wants to share his joy with the world.

Antisocial Media

It was with some trepidation that I returned to Social Media. I can see all the positives but it’s always an act of trust. When I restricted my posts to the eyes of those I knew well it was great. But when you go public then you expose yourself to more than a few idiots. Let me share an example.

I receive messages most days, usually asking for help and advice. Anyone who has contacted me will tell you I generally respond quite quickly. Of course, if I’m out of the country or tied up with a project then the response will be delayed. But almost without exception I do get around to replying.

Here’s an example of a simple exchange of messages. Guy catches a nice fish. He sends me a friend request, an image, and I warmly receive his post and respond positively. Can you see where this is creating a problem?


No, nor me. I’m happy. Shows the guys respects me and for the time it took me to type three words he gets to feel that I’ve connected with him. So we’re both happy. How can this possibly be a problem for anyone?



Where do you start with a deluded fool like that? Well, I take the positives. He thinks if there’s a fish to be caught of any species I’m so brilliant that  merely by turning up I will be guaranteed to catch it. Wow. Cheers mate. Some accolade.

Sadly his attempt to round up support for a bullying campaign fell on stony ground. Clearly his mate Tony had more sense than to rise to his invitation.

But I can hardly ignore the insults and negatives in there. First of all he’s clearly intimidated, yet at the same time he wants to engage with me. In fact he’s desperate to engage. What a dichotomy. Tough luck mate. But you asked for it, so this is my reply. Served cold. Measured and absolutely crystal clear. Not by messenger. Not in private email. No, it’s in public, just like your own defamatory posts.

So Michael, what of your accusations? Apparently I’m a fish chaser. Really? On what grounds do you base this? Come on, give us one shred of evidence. Provide an instance. Perhaps you should study the three current year’s magazine covers included here.

Just in case you’re wondering, one’s from a commercial fishery, the other two are from different club waters that I have held memberships spanning a decade or longer. Similarly the 3 covers I enjoyed in 2015 were from a ‘runs’ carp water, a popular stretch of the River Swale where I first shot a feature for Angling Times over 20 years ago and one from the local River Idle where I’ve been shooting features and filming for the thick end of 10 years.

Six covers, six different waters, none of which that any right-minded fish chaser would be targeting. And I could go on and on about a couple of dozen more cover shots, practically every one from open access waters. So come on Michael, you’ve openly slandered me with your accusations, I challenge you to share with the whole world just one example that supports your claim.

Of course, under normal circumstances I don’t really have the time available to waste on idiots like Michael Joyce, so, rather than respond to his insults I turned the other cheek. Unfortunately this kind of behaviour results only in his ‘so-called friend’ John Lam’s feeling pretty embarrassed. Well done Michael! With friends like you John doesn’t exactly need enemies.

But Michael still wasn’t satisfied. He then tries to engage me on messenger. Honestly, what fuels the mind of an idiot like this?


Alcohol, I suspect. Or maybe this is typical of his genuine personality? I wouldn’t know because I’ve never, ever met him and frankly would never want to!

Then again isn’t it a bit rich to say I hide behind this blog when he himself hides behind the picture of a young girl and a dog? Ah, but that’s the logic of Social Media. It would be great if it didn’t trawl its nets quite to the bottom of the gene pool. There are depths to which we can all do without it sinking, don’t you think?

Mind you, he’s not the only troll around and I don’t just mean the cast of Dream Works’ new film…


You have to credit this guy. He thinks he can troll me and point the finger at Fred Bonney at the same time, which tells us two things. He’s ashamed or too cowardly to reveal his real name, and he’s also got issues with Fred for some reason.


Alas he’s not very clever because by now you would have thought he’d have worked out that the kind of crap he posts is automatically captured by the site’s spamming software and unlikely to ever get approved or published on my web site, but that doesn’t stop him trying. He’s a persistent bugger, just look this screenshot. It shows the left hand column of one page in my Comments Awaiting Approval file…


Five derogatory messages on as many articles from the same guy. You have to give him credit for persistence and also for constantly changing his IP address, which suggests he appreciates what he’s doing constitutes harassment and could land him in a lot of bother with the police. He’s posted on everything I’ve published for quite a while now, normally within 24 hours of publication (haunting me like a bad smell) and I doubt he proposes to stop any time soon. Obviously I’ve not shared the content of his bile as that’s presumably the troll’s goal, though I’m sure you can guess the tone of it.


Am ah bovvered? Well, seriously, what do you think? Kind of flattering to have my own stalker, isn’t it? But here’s the rub. I’m making it clear here and now that I do not wish him to pester me. Ever. If he posts on this blog that means he’s aware of my views and chosen to ignore my request that he desists. By leaving malicious comments on every post leading up to this warning it matters not if he chooses safety by not bashing away at his keyboard on this occasion. If he only misses the one with the warning and continues after that it would be difficult to deny knowledge of this post, which leaves him open to a whole heap of trouble, so hopefully it’s been worth sharing this with you.

Goodbye ‘fred’, ‘freddy’ or whatever your name is!

Media Plus

So, having described some of the downsides of making yourself accessible to any idiot who is allowed out with or without supervision, it’s difficult to ignore the benefits. For every nutter I attract I interact with huge numbers of kind, likable and sensible people.

What I don’t understand is the apparent hit and miss nature of something Facebook calls ‘reach’. As I understand it, this relates to the number of individuals who have seen your post.


If you have deep pockets you can purchase reach. For a small fee, Facebook will put a paid post on a few hundred or even several thousand feeds – kind of like the adverts you get all the time. They are buying reach. Fishing tackle companies (and desperate attention seekers) do it all the time hoping to sell you something or to attract ‘likes’ and followers. It’s specifically targeted marketing.

When you have a Page rather than a Profile (I have both) you can see how many people you’ve reached with every post yet I’m completely baffled by the inconsistency of the numbers. Sometimes a post will only get a few hundred views. In normal circumstances if I upload a picture I’m satisfied with anything between 1500 and 3,000 views, but occasionally things go a little bonkers.

FB Reach

Take this one from the other Friday. It set off like any regular post ‘reaching’ a couple of thousand people and attracting a number of likes and comments and then on Saturday morning it just seem to take off and fly, hitting more than 30,000 people before it crashed and burned. I still have no idea why it proved so popular especially when my follow-up post was viewed by ‘only’ 6,000. Good by normal standards but proof, should it be required, that the first ‘hit’ was a mere flash in the pan.

It’s Only Fair

My neighbor has a bigger house than me. He earns loads more money, too, so I’m going to set up a bivvy on his front lawn and live in it until he takes me in, allocates me a bedroom, feeds and clothes me. I’d also like him to give me enough money to buy the latest iPhone, designer trainers and send a few bob back to my missus and kids.

Eventually I want him to move out so my family can be with me.

Think he’ll wear it?

Angling Trust’s PR Disaster

No, I’m not talking about the appointment of a whole new bunch of ‘ambassadors’ most of whom I suspect weren’t even members in the first place. Go on, you were wondering, weren’t you? Or accepting sponsorship from a serial polluter. I’m talking disaster in a ‘heads ought to roll’ capacity for putting an apparent idiot in charge of the Team England Lure Squad.

That there are rumours circulating about the team manager and at least one member of the squad being involved in fisticuffs in 2015 should have raised serious questions about suitability but the breaking story of Ron Dalton’s resignation deserves a public airing.

At the recent World Lure Angling Championship in Ireland, England performed dismally finishing (I believe) third last. Oh well, chin up, stiff upper lip, sporting losers and all that. We are British after all.

But then we hear whispers of dodgy dealings around team selection. You see, in advance of the World Championships, Anglers Mail columnist Steve Collett had expressed an interest in attending and competing in the team trials. This wasn’t a simple act of vanity as Collett is the current British Lure Angling champion, a title he also won the previous  year.  He also holds the European title, as well as winning over 20 rounds of the British Lure Angling Championships and is the only person to have ever won major titles in three disciplines – coarse, sea and game.


Clearly he’s competitive and okay, he’s a bit Marmite. Some love him, some don’t, but so was Brian Clough. With a track record like his you would automatically think he would be a shoo-in for the squad, never mind the trials. So how come his application was conveniently ‘lost’, despite the manager sending him a text message to say his inclusion was secure and a place had been reserved for him on the trials?

The upshot is Collett never did get a chance fish in the trials and therefore wasn’t even considered for a place in the team.

Understandably disappointed with the situation Collett decided to expand his experience by hooking up with some of the anglers he’d met during European fishing competitions, traveled over to Ireland at his own expense and took on a coaching role with both the Lithuania and Ukraine teams. And guess what? Under his tutelage they took Gold and Bronze respectively!

That should have been an end to it. Point made perfectly, but unfortunately the England Manager thought it was a good idea to post the following image on his Facebook wall in the aftermath.

Ron Dalton

Now could you imagine Dick Clegg doing that? Or Mark Downes? Or anyone with half a brain. Hardly the actions of a diplomat. Perhaps you might get away with it if you’d won, but third last? Surely you sneak away and hide in a dark corner.

Just in case the image is a little fuzzy, the message behind Dalton’s head reads, ‘Collett, who the f*** is Collett’

Not surprisingly it all kicked off on Facebook after that and the Angling Trust was forced to issue a press release to the effect that it had suspended Ron Dalton from his duties pending an inquiry and stating categorically that, ‘At this stage, the Angling Trust will not discuss the matter further until the inquiry is completed.’

Well, Dalton has since resigned. Was it a case of being pushed? Probably. So let’s have a comment from the Trust. Some chance of that, methinks. It is clearly an embarrassing matter so he gets the benefit of the doubt. Or does he? This post on his timeline suggests he’s feeling pretty bitter about the whole affair.


There’s something about the saying ‘when you’re in a hole stop digging’ that he clearly doesn’t understand and what he’s definitely demonstrated by stirring the hornet’s nest in this way is he clearly doesn’t have the necessary tact and diplomacy skills to be an international team manager..

Whether Steve Collett gets his chance to fish for England in future we’ll have to wait and see. On merit he’s a shoo in. But we’re talking politics here. If he’s picked it doesn’t show the folk who appointed Dalton in too good a light. If he’s not given a chance then the Angling Trust will have a lot of questions to answer.

Pet Shop Boys And Girls

Well, the referendum promised in the Conservative manifesto came and went. Project Fear failed to have the desired effect and a majority of Brits elected to leave the EU. Whether you like it or not, that’s democracy. No good kicking up a fuss. Dust yourself down and move on. It’s what true British spirit is all about. Come on man, stiff upper lip! Deal with it.

Dodgy Dave simply couldn’t believe it. And how badly did he handle it? What was it he said, ‘If you vote to leave I will serve Article 50 the very next day.’ Too cocky by half if you ask me. Completely misread the country. Didn’t have a Plan B, and did he deliver his promise? Did he heck. ‘I quit (you freaking morons!). Someone else will have to do the dirty work now.’

So typical. What, me, a diva? And so the saga drags on.

Meanwhile it looks like half of Africa and the near East’s male population has decided to invade Europe at the invitation of dear Auntie Angela. Over 3 million and counting apparently. Crime levels are through the roof, sex crimes proliferate and tribes continue to battle with old foes in ‘welcome’ centres. Interpreters are coining it in while great mystery surrounds the whereabouts of any documentation or paperwork. Apparently hundreds, nay thousands, claim to be unaccompanied children fleeing war.

Here in the UK children are incapable of walking distances further than the end of the drive, so much so they have to be ferried to school in Chelsea tractors whereas these refugee children, if they are to believed, left home when they were about 3-years-old and after bribing a trafficker to take them across the sea they then walked, unaided, across eight or 10 safe countries to reach the port of Calais where they’ve since somehow supported themselves in The Jungle. Why on earth would anyone be suspicious…?


Come on, dry the tears, stop getting all emotional, we cannot feasibly squeeze the entire populations of Africa and Asia into England. It won’t fit. Resolving one problem by creating another is not a solution. It’s madness. Compassion is one thing, but every single 35-year-old adult masquerading as an unaccompanied child is denying a genuine case. Their actions are a disgrace. Selfish. Probably criminal. But would we really expect anything less?

And please tell me, at what point does a problem in France created by its own lack of border controls become the responsibility of any other country. No, let’s be more specific. Why should it be England’s problem? These people are already in a safe country, being offered housing, benefits and transport to get there. What am I missing?

I know what I’d rather be missing. Things like this:

‘I didn’t realise the 10-year-old boy didn’t want to be raped. It was a sexual emergency.’

Which surely has to be the most unbelievable plea since the introduction of law courts, but what did the Austrian judge say?

‘Okay, we’ll drop the charge.’

Genuine refugees are not allowed to work. They are supposedly in a temporary place until it is safe to return whence they came, so they represent an incredible financial burden to everyone else. This is in the same Europe that has record levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of school places, housing, qualified doctors, nurses, dentists, failing banks, a failing Euro, bankrupt countries, etc.

And even when these refugees (illegal/ economic migrants actually – refugees stop in the first safe country) are in a safe, civilised country like France, the mother of culture and compassion, our luvvie brigade still wants to milk exposure by insisting we invite every last unaccompanied ‘child’ to England. Children? FFS! Pull the other one.


That’s when you truly realise the Government is taking the p***, The Jungle is or was a camp full of illegals intent on gaining entry to the UK by any means, funding people smugglers, attacking lorries and cars, disrupting commerce and behaving abominably. They didn’t want to be in a safe country because they were already in one. They weren’t fleeing. They were in a semi-permanent camp of their own making hell bent on crossing the Channel, jump straight to the head of the queue and be to the detriment of anyone who’s stuck on a council housing list or sleeping rough on the streets.

Of course the simplistic idiots who brand anyone who questions uncontrolled mass migration as a racist appear to believe that the entire world’s problems would be solved at a stroke if we opened the doors to the 6,500 inhabitants of the Calais Jungle. Really? Are they so stupid and gormless as to not realise that upwards of 6,500 more are landing on the shores of Italy every single day of the week? 7 days a week, every week.

Let 6,500 in today and another 6,500 will be queuing up to join them next week demanding the same treatment. How many should we accept? 65,000…? 650,000…? Six MILLION?

Never in my experience have I ever known such fear and revulsion among the working classes of this country. It’s been building since 9/11 and 7/7 and the population becomes more polarised daily. No one was in the least surprised by the Bataclan massacre, the Charlie Ebdo attack, Marseilles, etc, etc, etc. The following image is a summary of Islamic Terror Attacks thus far in 2016. Is it any wonder we are not rushing to welcome unregulated migration from countries where this kind of outrage is deemed to be normal and acceptable?


Between 2000 and 2014 there were 61,000 terrorist attacks killing 140,000 people. You are ten times more likely to be killed by terrorism today than in 2000. If that level of escalation doesn’t alarm you, it should.

There is no doubt that truly compatible integration is a pipe dream. Impossible. The various Islamic factions cannot even get on with each other. Did we not learn anything from our Abu Hamzer experience? The barbarism of Isis, of Daesh, the Taliban and all the other tribes who belong in the single digit centuries. How about Shariah Law? It unfortunately doesn’t matter if the vast majority are peaceful. That’s not good enough. It doesn’t take 3 million terrorists to wreak havoc. It only takes one extremist and no-one can be sure which one is the problem. Of course, if there was only one terrorist he’d have been a pretty busy lad carrying out those 61,000 attacks.

Check out the following list. Can you spot a theme? It’s not just Little Englanders who are concerned about Islam.


The working folk of this country are stuck in a pincer movement. We’re equally sick of our own elite and privileged. There’s a groundswell of anger that the Government appears to be dragging its feet over implementing the democratic will of the people. Folk are heartily fed up of the Remoaning camp, the enduring Project Fear, the biased reporting of the BBC and with MPs who are trying to obstruct Article 50 when the people they represent voted overwhelmingly to leave. As for the Labour Party, well, it’s a joke. The Lib Dems are missing in action and UKIP has disappeared up its own backside and Brexiteers are being branded intellectually challenged by those who’s purpose it is to serve them.

Somehow I can’t help thinking things could get a whole lot worse before they improve. Meanwhile how come not one politician has stood up and said, hang on, we already have enough British folk sleeping rough on the streets, why should we have TWO houses each financed by the public purse? Let’s give up one each to house ex-servicemen, or lowly paid refuse collectors.

Ain’t gonna happen, is it?

But tell me this. Is it wrong to want to protect your country? Is it wrong to defend your culture? Is it wrong to insist that the indigenous people of this country should receive priority treatment over all others? Is it wrong to fly a Union Jack inside the United Kingdom? Wear a poppy to commemorate those who died defending us? To repel those who might do us harm? Is it wrong to promote Christian festivals in a Christian country? Is it wrong to insist we, too, have rights? That we are entitled to retain our traditional way of life? Because if it’s wrong, then why the hell does everyone else in the world want to come and live on this tiny overcrowded island?

Is This Woman For Real?

On the subject of domestic politics, this lady, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health must think we’re stupid.

Abbott 3


Dianne Abbott is, like so many of her friends, wailing that she’s ashamed to be British, that the proletariat are idiotic, that we need more Europe, not less. That we should be the soft touch of the world and freely distribute our incredible wealth (which actually translates as incredible debt). That multi-culturism is the solution to everything. That bringing a few more millions to these over-populated shores is not a burden on our services nor a blight on our traditional way of life.

What utter bollocks! Of course this is the same Diane Abbott who’s not ashamed when she’s claiming an absolute fortune in expenses from the British taxpayer.
Abbott 1

The rest of us are struggling to fund the health service as its present level of care. We wait a fortnight to see a doctor. We are cutting services, closing old folks homes, telling folk they must work longer and wait another 5 years for the pensions they have contributed towards all their working lives while the super rich avoid taxation right, left and centre. The Treasury is running scared of taxing Google, Facebook, Starbucks and anyone else you care to name. Everything is shuffled offshore through shell companies and tax havens yet we the workers who by comparison earn a pittance are chased and harried for every last penny.
Abbott 2

None of this actually affects you at all if you enjoy the benefits of a vastly inflated MP’s salary, claim hundreds of thousands of pounds in expenses from the public purse, are driven around in a chauffered car, live in a mansion, send your kids to private school and enjoy the benefits of private health care. And she’s just one example out of 650 workmates who really don’t have a clue nor give a damn for the working classes yet their only reason they exist is to serve us.

George Orwell had it bang on when he wrote Animal Farm. Pigs!

Animal Farm

Meanwhile In Luvvy Land

It really grates with me that pampered luvvies are earning ridiculous sums for doing basically f*** all! Acting is simply professional lying, pretending and dressing up, that’s all. News reading is just that – reading. A chat show? Talking shit when your mate has got something to sell. Singing and wailing? Let’s not even mention the X Factor. Isn’t Bob Geldof supposed to be a singer? Wasn’t he supposed to have cured all of Africa’s problems with Live Aid? ‘Gimme your f***ing munney!’ He cried on live TV. We gave it and guess what? It appears to have been spent on supporting people traffickers, buying guns and smart phones.


And since that day every excuse for a comedian on the TV feels obligated to swear in every other sentence.

Lily Allen believes she has the right to represent the whole of the UK and issue an apology on our behalf. What?!!! Who the hell does she think she is? And never mind Gary Lineker, Benedict Cumberbatch, Graham friggin Norton or every right-on comedian sneering at us in their holier-than-thou tones from the gogglebox. They’re all at it. All paid for by us, and biting the very hand that feeds them.

Did you know the BBC’s income (at more than £5 Billion) is five times greater than that of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office? Thought not. No wonder they can afford to squander it on outrageous salaries. Wrecking the Top Gear brand and losing Bake Off is a mere trifle.


Surely someone on a huge salary should be advising all those overpaid luvvies it employs that the solution is not to shuffle the entire world’s population around like a pieces on a chequer board each time a bunch of medieval Koran bashers start killing each other. The solution is to solve the problem at source with aid, support and education. Through diplomacy and negotiation. Or just do what their super-rich southern cousins do, let them get on with it and pick up the pieces when they’re done.

Have you considered what happens when Europe falls apart? Does everyone go to Russia next, India, China, or America? I know, how about back to Africa?

Pet Shop

Imagine the world’s a pet shop and a fight breaks out in the budgie cage. You don’t suggest every budgie, canary and parrot go and live in the fish tank with the fishes. Any fool can see they’re incompatible and have completely different needs. You can’t say, well, we must remove all the water and give them an opportunity to integrate. Sorry fish, but this is the solution. If you don’t like it, then tough, you’ll have to go and live with the lizards.

What do you mean the fish won’t be happy in the dry, hot conditions? Okay, well just flood the vivarium with water.

But what about the indigenous reptiles? They don’t like water.

Typical bloody reptiles. Nowt but little vivarium-ers. You’re a f***ing bunch of racists! Yes you there, the scorpion, crawling out from under a stone. Ought to be ashamed of yourself. Time you accepted progress and integrated with the newcomers.

And on behalf of the hamsters I’d like to apologise to all the mice for not showing enough compassion.

Pssst! You can’t say that. When you gave the snakes’ vivarium to the fish the snakes moved in and ate all the mice…

A Quick Footie Bit

Looks like the Premier League is going to be tighter than ever and all that new cash sloshing around is making things quite tricky. As I write the top 5 teams are split by a single point and free spending Manchester United with the chosen one at their helm aren’t even in there. Nor are West Ham who flattered to deceive last season. As for Leicester, it’s looking more and more like last year was a flash in the pan. There will be tears and sackings before the end of this season because 7 or 8 teams are all in with a shout, or have boards that believe they should be competing for one of the 4 Champions League places. A couple more think they should be there. This is a season where finishing 4th will be an achievement. Finishing 6th will be a disaster.

Prem League

But down in the real world, where disaster has a different context, yes I’m talking League Two, the old Fourth Division, Doncaster Rovers are back where I feared they would end up when Mr Ryan’s judgement went haywire and our previously beloved chairman chased the dream with his experiment of out of contract mercenaries and loan players. It surely didn’t require a genius to work out that appointing Dean Saunders was not going to take us to the promised land of the Premier League. His replacement Dickov was a disaster. And it looked like Darren Ferguson was going to arrest the slide before embarking on a ridiculously bad run that culminated in a hardly believable second relegation.

I don’t mind holding my hands up, When O’Driscoll was sacked they might as well have sacked me, too. No way was I going to set foot in the stadium whilst Dean Saunders was there. And you know what? You lose the habit. When that Judas jumped ship for Wolves I was both disgusted and elated at the same time. But I never warmed to Dickov. I was not sad to see him go.

And then Ferguson arrived. This gave me a bit of a dilemma. His dad, old red nose, has never been my cup of tea. I simply don’t like the way that Man U are able to herd up all the sheep from around the globe and turn every half-wit into a shirt wearing, died in the wool fanatic yet live miles away and have never been anywhere near Old Trafford. They are a dangerous corporate brand who couldn’t give a shit if teams like Doncaster go skint. Teams have gone bust with debts less than they pay some of their players each week. That has to be wrong, but you’ll never get a window-licker to understand what following a lost cause like your home team means.


As much as I fell out of love with Donny I never missed a result, lived through every single game on text, on the fans forums and in the company of Jeff Stelling. I’ve got 50-year-old rods that I’ll never use again but can’t bear to throw away. There’s no way I could throw away my home town team no matter how poor they become.

So I slunk back into the stadium this week. Rovers were second in the table and highest scorers in the division. Stats suggest they win the ball back higher up the park than anyone else in the division and they make more attempts on goal than the rest. They’ve scored in every single game so far in all competitions. Unfortunately they are rubbish at the back and we’re experiencing a few injury problems, meaning we are playing quite a few youngsters, so things can go either way.

Well, I reckon I picked the wrong game. Donny were rubbish, scoring with their only shot of the first half, right on the stroke of half time. A neat goal mind. They only had one more shot in the second half (an embarrassing miss after rounding the keeper) but a win’s a win. It was dire fare. Colchester were the better, harder working team. Donny apparently had the lions share of possession although it didn’t seem like it and just that edge in class which is all it takes. Some reckoned it was not just the worst performance of the season; it was possibly the worst in years, yet it left me wanting to go back. How strange is that, eh? Not the kind of thing you can explain to a glory hunter.

Oh well, tight lines everyone.

19 thoughts on “2016 Winter’s Coming Blog

  1. Well Bob, you certainly got that lot off your chest. Agree with you or not, you cannot be said to be without opinions on most subjects.

    I am pleased that your health issues are now under control and you are back on the banks with the same enthusiasm as before. My meanderings have not brought us fishing close together this season, I hope that changes soon.

    • Cheers Bob. No point in blogging if you’ve nowt to say or have no opinion! 😉 Pretty sure we’ll bump into each other when the river’s up because we’ll both be heading in the same direction, no doubt! Congratulations on your cracking season so far. You’ve had some belting fish. See you next week at the NPS show I expect.

    • Well Bob, I agree with every word you said, have you thought about going into politics?
      I am hoping 2017 brings me more fishing trips, as a blind person it is difficult to get out there unless someone else goes with me and I don’t know many people who fish. I have joined the angling trust and have asked them to put out the word for a member in my local area to come forward and take me fishing sometimes, but up until now there as been no response, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for the new year.
      Good luck with all you do and keep flying the flag, this country deserves more than its getting at this time, I often wonder why so many people gave their lives during the two world wars, I thought our soldiers fought to keep Britain free and now look at it, our weak weedy poloticians have simply given it all away.
      Cheers all the best Bob, Dagenham.

  2. Hi Bob, I really think your turn of phrase is improving, another good read, but I am still dodging the football.
    I guessed right I see with the Michael you mentioned elsewhere, he really has always been a sad individual.
    Talking of the racist charge, he accused me of being racist,when I put up a joke about Abu Hamza on my blog.
    I always felt sorry for him, no doubt his little mate is embarrassed by him by now too, he should be.
    As for the Fred/Freddy individual, we both know who that is too, from a similar similar mould or is it mold.
    Anyway, glad to read you’re recovering from your ailments.
    Keep well and keep up the writing.

  3. Wonderfull read Bob. Good to see you back Blogging. No mention of Graham in this blog. Hope you stay fit and well.

    Regards Ray Thorpe.

  4. Nice one Bob! There are some truly strange folk around and unfortunately the interweb gives them a platform. Perhaps mental health wards should police the pages because there’d be plenty of new inmates to take in!

    Glad the health is better and you’re getting out more.

  5. Hi Bob,

    Might just see you at the NPS do. I guess you’ll be in the front row so you don’t miss any of JB’s tips for catching more fish from the Trent.

    • Be good to catch up Chris. I can assure you I won’t be in the front row, they’re letting me lose with some mic to compere the evening so I’ll be even closer! 😉

  6. Hi Bob, another great read and points of view that the vast majority agree with, yet don’t say themselves! Glad to hear your health is on the up.

    I found a link to your old articles from Coarse Angler and even though I’m not a match angler I am finding them fascinating. It’s interesting to learn that even back in those days, videos were having a detrimental effect on the written word. Hardly surprising that given the quality of DVDs these days, magazines like Coarse Angling Today are no longer in existence.

    Looking forward to the next blog, many thanks.

    • Cheers for ghe kind comments. If we get the Arctic winter promised by the daily express then I might be uploading a lot more! 😉

  7. What a breath of fresh air re immigration etc. Brexiter’s like myself (you too?), are portrayed in the media as being poorly educated, that graduates are unlikely to support Brexit. My eldest son got a Ist from the LSE, his brother got a 2.1 in Environmental Science and no 3 son got a 2.2 like his Pa. We actually have some idea about the various rackets going down in the EU, about history, economics etc. Yet still this calumny is endlessly repeated, that we must all be thick.. My own reason for voting out was simple: the environment. We, you , I and the dog are what causes environmental degradation: the more of us there are the worse it gets, the poorer the quality of life for everyone.. At what point do we stop the headlong rush for growth, the outward thrust of building yet more houses with the attendant tarmac and concrete? When we have higjh rises marching up the Welsh hillsides and the Scottish glens, housing estates across the National Parks, when we’ve abstracted the water from every river in the land? And all in pursuit of the chimera of growth and faux brotherly love for people who hate each other even more than they hate us? Unless some form of common sense prevails and right soon, this will not end well.

    On a saner note have just had a week pursuing Soar barbel with absolutely no success………..I’m still not getting it right, but I’m still trying, still in thinking/analysing mode and working from first principles.Having said that, virtually all my decent chub from the Soar and it’s tributary the Wreake, have come on dusk; until then it’s just the usual irritating taps and tugs that never seem to develop into a proper bend in the rod. The only barbel I’ve seen caught from the Soar have been in the first hour after dark, aside from one fish taken in flood conditions.Maybe, just maybe, this is one river where the hours of darkness rule applies? Loath though I am to suggest such heresy.

    • Cheers Mike. When your comment arrived I was midst reading a piece in the independent about Spanish uproar about Brexit related violence. Two people had been attacked, one a Bangladeshi, the other admittedly a Spaniards. However the attacks took place in May, before the Referendum took place! Yes, if we swallow reporting like that then we are indeed intellectually challenged.

      Re: The Soar, it’s a river I’ve never fished, mainly because I have to drive past so many other great rivers to get there so it’s not fair that I pontificate but I’ve yet to spend time on any river where the fish were completely crepuscular. Get the location right, feed right and lay a trap that will fool them and a bite usually follows. Don’t match angles hook Soar barbel?

      • Hi Bob,

        My local tackle dealer organises matches, including the stretch I’m working on and what reports I hear say that catches feature roach, bream, silvers(?), perch, and small chub. I must make enquiries re barbel. The swim I’ve been fishing is about 20-25′ wide, about 4′ deep and the water is whacking through at 2.4m/sec (acc to an app a friend uses). I’ve been putting in four three inch droppers containing a mix of 3 and 4 mm pellets, plus the 6mm ones on the hair rig and some broken boilies prior to starting fishing.The reasoning behind this is that things are cooling down, so sparing with the feed which I’m casting maybe 40′ downstream and then dropping a feeder plus 3′ hook link plus 2 x 6mm pellets on the hair. I’m sitting behind a screen of sedge and bulrush and take the utmost care getting to the swim and all the time I’m there. I’m retrieving and reloading the swim feeder every 10 mins which contains the dropper mix and plugged either end with stiff finely milled groundbait (Vitalin that’s been through my Nutri-Bullet). On the odd occasion when my casting has been off I’ve retrieved the rig and recast without the need to reload the feeder, so I’m getting a controlled release. After c 2 hours I put another four pans of feed in, and as at the beginning, there is no action for maybe 20-25 minutes and I’ve wondered if it’s actually spooking the fish. Once the ‘action’ does start it’s the classic hesitant chub taps. On the last visit after two hours I added red and white maggots to the bait droppers and put three or four on the hook above the hair. Although I’m using an anti-tangle setup, tangles invariably occur, even when I feather the cast to get the hair out in front. This coming week I’m away walking, so it will be the best part of two weeks before I’ll get back to it and, based on weather projections things will be considerably cooler, hence I’ll be attempting to trundle the hair down stream with maybe three or four swan shot on a short nylon loop with the hair buried in a bail of g/bait and pellet mix. It’s also time to think about fishing the same rig upstream too. Regardless of the success or otherwise of this I need to look at the practicality of floatfishing variously lobworms and maggots.

        Re the other other matter, I have no problems with other people whether they’re black, white or candly striped and I always make an effort to speak French and German when I’m in those places; my two eldest are fluent in German, Czech, French, Russian and one is currently learning Farsi. Whilst I’m English I regard myself as a European and over a long life I’ve worked with people from pretty much everywhere in Europe, Africa and much of Asia inc spells in Korea and Japan, but by an large they belong in their respective countries; we simply cannot accomodate them all over here.
        Mike M

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