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Welcome to the June angling blog. If you’re a new visitor then I hope you enjoy it. I try to tell it as I see it and occasionally inject a little bit of wicked humour but do beware, there’s an odd swear word here and there in the graphics if you pay close attention, so please don’t continue reading if you’re the type who gets easily offended.
Those who’ve been her before know exactly what to expect although I’m sure the usual suspects will find find something to take exception over providing they look hard enough. They usually do.
If you’re one of them, perhaps I can offer a word of advice?
Get a life!
Or better still, sit down and write your own blog rather than reading mine because you know what’s going to be in it. 😉
Anyway, travelling through the South West by train recently I was struck by the number of buttercups there are in the fields this year. Meadows were awash with swathes of yellow and I took it to be that it was a Devon or Cornwall kind of thing but since then I’ve noticed they’re everywhere – millions of them.
Apparently it’s been an exceptional year for ranunculus acris which set me thinking about its cousin, the water variety, ranunculus trichophyllus, probably better known to you and me as water crowfoot.
A walk down one of my local rivers suggests it’s going to be a magnificent year for crowfoot as it was already reaching the surface in early May and has begun to flower in earnest now. To the less experienced eye you might think whole stretches are unfishable but that’s far from the truth. It’s going to be tricky and it’s likely to deter the guys who like to plot in and bore the fish out but for the thinking, mobile angler it’s a great opportunity.
By contrast Stu’s been down to the Dove for a look round and is suggesting that much of last season’s luxuriant ranunculus growth has disappeared. Whether it’s something to do with a shift in water quality or whether the roots were ripped out in last winter’s floods remains to be seen but it could mean we’re looking at a massive shift in fish location and a possible reduction in daytime catches. I hope not because half the fun of catching a fish is to do so in daylight rather than mugging them after dark.
Why Is There No RSPF?
It was amusing to see the RSPB and the RSPCA drawn into conflict over the grey squirrel issue. The three million greys are non-indigenous and have impacted massively on the native red squirrels who’s numbers are in such serious decline that extinction is a possibility. Not only have they introduced diseases that the smaller red squirrel is not immune to, they wreak havoc on bird populations, robbing nests of eggs and chicks. Consequently the RSPB is very much pro-culling whilst the RSPCA is up in arms against it.
If only we had a Royal Society for the Protection of Fish. Maybe then, and only then, would we get acres of press coverage in the red tops about the devastation caused by cormorants and otters and we could take on the RSPB because right now I can’t see any of the angling organisations succeeding except with bullets.
Meanwhile, Over On The Silver Screen…
Went over to North west Angling in Wigan this week to film a slot for the new Setanta Sports angling series which launches on June 16th and will be repeated several times over the following week, no doubt at some ungodly hour but I guess we have to be thankful for Sky plus. The host is Dean Macey, ably assisted by Wendy Lythgoe who is surely THE most gorgeous lady in angling (Err, sorry, ‘Wenno’! 😉 ). The first show will feature Steve Ringer, Alex Bones and myself.
Called the Casting Couch I suppose it’s not too dissimilar to an angling version of Sky’s Soccer AM. It differs considerably from Sky’s Tight Lines in that it is neither live nor studio based. Instead it will be hosted by various tackle shops up and down the country and customers can join in the fun or simply watch the filming taking place.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all turns out on the night – providing, of course, that Setanta haven’t gone tits up by then. Just my luck eh?
Sticking with the theme of Bob’s global media enterprises – signed shirts anyone? – I did an interview with Martin James for his BBC Radio angling programme recently. The show is broadcast from the land of dark satanic mills on t’other side of the Pennines and I meant to check out when it was being broadcast but I completely forgot about it.
If you read this Martin, maybe you can get in touch. I’d love a copy of the show if it’s still available.
Martin James’ show, ‘At the Water’s Edge’, is broadcast on Thursday evenings on Radio Lancashire and can be listened to via the Internet or as an iPod download by visiting to the BBC web site. The current recording of can be found at:
You know, there’s nowt better than a relaxing bit of fishing, is there? We can all boast captures of big fish if we want to. Just head for the right water, pile in a load of bait set a couple of traps, four if you’re so inclined, and wait long enough for that goliath specimen to come along and hook itself.
But it’s awfully boring, isn’t it?
Sometimes I get an urge to go fishing, and by that I mean fishing, not catching. I’ll take one rod along to a commercial fishery and do it the old fashioned way and if that floats your boat there are some fantastic commercial fisheries around. I read all sorts of moans and grumbles on fishing forums about the ‘plastic’ fishing and ‘nowt but pasties’ but have these guys ever opened their eyes? Have they ever been to some of the better commercials?
Yes, some pools are nothing more than holes in the ground but by heck, some would give the best syndicates a run for their money. I went back to Alderfen Fisheries this month and fished the match Lake again. The wind was a typical lazy northerner that blew right through you but I’m ‘ard – I plonked myself down right in the teeth of it and set up a waggler. I was going to give the bream and tench a lesson in determination.
Two hours later I was regretting that decision as my teeth chattered and the net remained empty. Oh well, no option but to chuck a feeder over to the distant island margins where I’d seen a bit of activity in the rushes. Trouble was I was now shivering so much I could barely hold the tip still.
First cast a carp; then another. That’s odd because the carp here are far outnumbered by the bream and tench. If you’re catching carp then you’re either in the wrong swim or the main species simply aren’t feeding.
Eventually I managed to tempt three nice tench but I never touched a single bream. Odd that, but I’ll be back for more when the fancy takes me. You know, I feel sorry for those who wear blinkers, the carp men, the barbel men, the match angler. Whatever happened to the all-rounder? I’m sure he has a lot more fun in the long run. I know I do.
Crouton Carp Anyone?
Browsing through the cookery section in my local remaindered books shop the other day I came across a copy of Floyd On India. I like old Keith Floyd as he’s got a bit of character. Certainly a night out with him would be interesting for sure. Cooks a decent meal, enjoys a glass and doesn’t get too poncey about it, however I discovered a little gem in his introduction. Apparently he, like most kids who were around when I was growing up, indulged in a bit of fishing.
He describes fishing a London park lake and eating what they caught, but when he mentions catching two tench and a crution carp I couldn’t help wondering if he was romancing a bit. What is a crution carp? Is it something you float in your soup, perhaps?
Bits Blitz Still Has me Tearing My Hair Out
I’ve been chasing those rudd again with a spectacular lack of success. So much so that I’m gradually convincing myself that I’m destined to fail forever. Fishing with Matt (Brown) one Saturday we were being blitzed every cast by the millions of piranha sized specimens. Honestly we’ve now sunk to spending only a short time in each swim in the vain hope of nailing a fluke.
Sure enough, while I had ‘one last cast’ in a tasty looking swim ‘neath a tricky overhanging bush Matt moved into the next swim along and latched into a cracker on his very first cast. And from then on it was back to the bits.
All day long.
Meanwhile, Stu (Walker) spent an evening on Alderfen and he only nabs a 2lb 7oz specimen. Who was there to take the picture (and I did say picture not p*$$!), yep good old Matt. You may even have spotted the fish on the front cover of the current Angling Times.
You’ve Got Mail
Stu and I spent a very pleasant day with Paul Dennis, deputy editor of the Anglers Mail last week filming the reaction of barbel to various staged experiments. The results will be published next week in the Mail and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing this one.
We learned some very interesting facts about the behaviour of PVA bags that will open the eyes of many a barbel angler when we release this footage. It ain’t quite what you’d imagine folks, trust me.
It’s that time of year again when most of our club memberships fall due for renewal and I’ve been spectacularly lax, as ever, in sending off my renewals. It cost me a prized ticket last year – not so much for the fishing because I rarely used that ticket. No, it was one of those rare venues which provides access to a BWB toilet which in turn meant I could take my rather more refined better half with me for an occasional glorified picnic while still catching a fish or three.
One little note of frustration though, in a time when the Post Office keeps changing its rules on envelope sizes, weights and prices, is the note on one renewal application that places the onus on the applicant to send an SAE that is ‘big enough’ and with the correct postage on it. How do we do that then when we don’t know what the package will weigh and how big is big enough?
I’d call in my local post office and ask but it was shut down last November as part of the cost cutting exercise which has apparently failed to produce anywhere near the projected savings. Typical.
I spent a few days at Wyreside Fisheries this month fishing Sunnyside Two with tench in mind. Wyreside lies so far north that it takes four days for London newspapers to reach there and many a locals wardrobe contains a kilt. It’s by far and away the most northerly outpost that I’ve ever cast a line for tench.
Principally a carp water and it’s with no exaggeration that I say it is potentially one of the finest carp fisheries in the north with at least five of the lakes containing thirties and several genuine forties – and most of it can be had on a day ticket. Consequently it’s the other species that get overlooked but there have been reports of tench to 10lb, pike pushing 30lb and roach over two and a half.
Unfortunately my visit coincided with a north to north easterly wind, clear skies and a full moon. Not ideal conditions and the tench were playing hard to get so I stalked a lump of a carp on the tench tackle and just for fun, set up a waggler rod. In just an afternoon using only a pint of red maggots and a bit of hemp I hammered out 40lb of roach without breaking sweat. Honestly it was a bite a cast with fish averaging 3 or 4 to a pound. Odd fish pushed 12oz but there was no sign of anything bigger.
Food is delivered to your swim by quad and the ‘growler’ breakfast just has to be experienced. Bacon, sausage, egg, black pudding and mushrooms on one giant balm cake. I can also recommend the evening rice and chilli option but there’s burgers, curry and a whole lot more to choose from.
The fisheries are superb. All the details you’ll ever need can be found on the web site http://www.wyresidelakes.co.uk/
Spam, Spammers and Spamming
Remember all that fuss on Barbel Fishing What when we released the first Barbel Days and Ways DVD? If you don’t, I’ll recap. There was a thread on there about an appearance I made on Tight Lines in which I showed some underwater footage from the forthcoming film. To say it sparked a bit of interest is an understatement. In a matter of weeks it received something like the fourth highest number of hits ever on BFW and the same debate crossed over onto several other chat forums. We’re talking more than ten thousand of hits.
Clearly we struck a nerve, provoking much thought and debate but if you think everyone was happy, think again. I’m guessing there must have been a touch of envy in some quarters. Anyway, I promised that when the DVD was available I would let people know through the forum and no one raised so much as a single objection at the time. Not a peep.
Oh well, I humbly apologised but that wasn’t good enough for site owner Andy Francis. So we exchanged a few testosterone fuelled emails and struck each other off our Christmas Card Lists but that wasn’t enough.
We gentlemen do enjoy a tantrum so In a final fit of childishness I stamped my feet and demanded he remove my name from the site membership list while making it quite clear that I would not be promoting any future BD&W DVDs, nor entering any further debates on his site, as I felt we’d reached an impasse.
And that’s where things lay until quite recently when I received an email from Andy announcing the wonderful things I might wish to purchase from his BFW on-line shop. Yep, that’s right, he’s apparently using the email addresses of everyone who has ever registered with BFW (based on the fact that I’m not a current member) to spam folk with advertising offers.
Now I normally admire a bit of free enterprise and had the same message come from, say, Fishing Magic or even Stamp Collectors Monthly, I would have had no truck with it. Ebay do it all the time. So do Amazon. But they provide me with a service that has mutually beneficial advantages.
But for Andy to accuse me of using the BFW site to promote my DVD, like it’s some kind of crime, while he blatantly uses the membership list for his own mercenary objectives is a bit hypocritical, don’t you think?
So I emailed Andy and asked whether he didn’t think this was a bit rich.
Of course, he hasn’t responded.
This Mysterious Practise Of Identity Theft
How would you feel if someone nicked your identity and then started posting things on web sites, masquerading as you? Uneasy?
Indeed what kind of warped mentality would it take do something like that in the first place, eh?
Well, one individual I’m aware of has registered email addresses in the following aliases:
Toni O’Rocca, Gordon Bennet, Mike Trahern, Paul Owens, John Wilson, John Taylor, Tony Jones, Dan Johnson, Paul Naylor, Phil Taylor, Stephen Wood, Tony Johnson, Geoff Wright, F1recrest, F1resrest, Paul Jones, Rob Harris, Matthew Naylor, Julian Foster, Bob Johnson, John Elliott, Danny Nut, Joe Alsop, Tony Foster, Rob Woodhouse, Brian , Foster, Tony Short, John Palmer, Tom Sawyer, Geoff Walker, Paul Dawson, Paul Johnson, Simon Wright, Robert Wilson, Ray Wright and Robert Oxley
Does that not strike you as rather odd behaviour? Especially as we all recognise a number of the names in that list. And no doubt there could be more.
It doesn’t end there, though. He has disciples, no doubt egged on and encouraged to follow his example. Numerous juvenile messages have been posted on this very web site (and others) by someone who’s impersonating me. He’s using addresses like:
(Try them; see if you get a reply!)
Clearly, all this takes time to set up but you have to be a little concerned for his mental state. He’s even registered himself as email@example.com, just for good measure. Unfortunately it’s one step removed from fraud and the kind of thing that cyber criminals do. Unfortunately this guy doesn’t appear to have the whit to take it to that level, but we’ll see.
And how do I know for certain it’s not me? Because they all have the same IP address and it’s not mine. It appears to be somewhere near the end of Kirkstall Road, Sheffield, next to a school…
Needless to say, I monitor each post that arrives and then hit the spam zapper, unless I’m in a mischeivious frame of mind and then I might edit what he (or they) have posted to make them look particularly stupid – which is exactly what someone has to be if they are going to try and make a fool of me on a site that I have complete control over the content of, including their comments.
But it does lead me to wonder what actual planet these folk live on.
Lies, Damn Lies And Web Site Statistics
One of the real fascinations of owning a web site is being able to analyse the statistics; who visits, what they look at, bounce rates, average time on site, number of pages visited and such like. For instance I know that referrals have come from 73 different mediums, that 62.68% land here from search engines and that the blogs are extremely popular.
But it still gives me great pleasure to say hello and welcome to the 87 visitors who have arrived here from the Tidal Trenters’ web site this month. Of course, that doesn’t include those members who may have added me to their favourites or are included in the 14.96% of direct visitors who typed in the site address.
Not bad for a bunch of 18 anglers, eh?
So guys, I know you’ll be reading this and I’d just like to wish you all the very best of luck in your quest for that Tidal Trent lady with the biggest girth. Who knows, you may even break a record this season…
And So We Begin Again
Have you noticed there’s an all-important date next week?
That’s right, June 16th. The GLORIOUS sixteenth.
But why is it glorious? What’s so special about waiting three whole months to fish for species that in some cases have still not finished or haven’t yet recovered from spawning? I am wholly and completely supportive of having a closed season but the duration (93 days…?) and the timing is completely wrong.
And those who celebrate the glory of the 16th are equally wrong. The start of the fishing season is a mockery that’s all about people and nothing to do with the fish. But we are stuck with what we have for the time being. Perhaps it will change soon. I do hope so.
But in the meantime, have a great season on the rivers and treasure every moment. If the cormorants continue to hammer the small fish while otters remove the big ones and the dodgy Eastern Europeans allegedly eat everything they can catch, we won’t have an awful lot left to fish for in the future anyway, will we?
Right, it’s time to go fishing but before I leave you I must mention the ‘shock’ sale of that diving, cheating, sly winking Ronaldo to UnReal Madrid. Can one player possibly be worth £80 million – I mean can he be? Does this mean Manchester United are now a selling club? Imagine what must have been said in the boardroom at Old Trafford…
If you’re a Man U fan I do hope the tube strike didn’t cause too much inconvenience but please accept my sincere apologies for the content in the following clip. It sums up the impact of this world record transfer perfectly but I’m afraid it contains some very strong language. If you are likely to be offended by this then please do not watch it. Press the back button now! You have been warned.
To Kev and all the other City fans, to the Scousers and the Chelsea fans, the Gunners and the Spurs, do enjoy…
(Would you believe it. I hadn’t even finished doing the online tweaks and edits to the June blog when the following message arrived. It is reproduced verbatim and has NOT been doctored or edited in any way…)
“This message was likely forged and did not originate from your account. Learn More
A form has been submitted on June 12, 2009, via: http://www.bobrobertsonline.co.uk/contact-
me/#cf_field_3 [IP 220.127.116.11]
Bob Roberts Online – Visitor Message
Your NameTony Rocca
Good blog but if your going to write stuff about me at least get it right.
I didnt register any of those e-mail addys, i just made the first names up and added @yahoo.com on them. ie they were already in existance… somewhere. So, although the Paul Owens we know is a real person Paul firstname.lastname@example.org isnt his mail addy though it must belong to A bloke also called paul owens. The other names must also be real people but I dont know em, as i said i plucked them from the air. Apart, that is, from mike Trahern who is a mail acc I created and still posts on FM.
Quiz Time, do you know who Mike Trahern was?
The point was that they would all get annoying verification mail from FM whilst I got one more post to annoy Graham.
Such fun, editors shouldnt abuse their power in my book.
Simple, but not a case of me registering mail accounts as you say, apart from one.
Please, Mr Rocca. You’ve finally been granted your moment in the limelight, the one you so desperately wanted. Perhaps you’ll now do us all a favour and just go forth and multiply, respectfully. No-one so much as mentioned your name, you volunteered it. So there we go. It’s time to say goodbye!
Ah, my day just gets better. I slip off to make a coffee, come back and the spam filter has intercepted a billet doux from Mike ‘Whiskerton’ Joyce:
“There’s not much point stating that you haven’t doctored or edited a post, when on other occasions you clearly have. That’s the problem with censorship, you lose what credibility you had.
I wonder. Which part of the sentence (in this very blog):
“I monitor each post that arrives and then hit the spam zapper, unless I’m in a mischeivious frame of mind and then I might edit what he (or they) have posted to make them look particularly stupid.”
Did Mike not understand?
Rest assured the only alterations I’ve made to Mike’s post are to insert spaces between words, after punctuations and to capitalise his name. Obviously I’m not feeling mischeivious or it could have been worse, very much worse!
That’s two in the net already Jason! 🙂
And so reasuring to know the spam filter is working efficiently.
Twelve hours pass and another missive arrives from Tony2Canes (Rocca):
Just showing that what you write is crap Bob, anyone who views Fishing Tragic knows you were talking about me. Thanks for posting my clear up.
Do Barnsley And District honestly entrust the night fishing rights on their River Trent fishery to this man? Hmmm… But it’s not for me to judge.
Tony, dear boy, I’ve told you once (above) and I’ll politely tell you again, please go forth and multiply. There’s nothing here for you that can possibly be of interest. We share nothing in common other than you are like a flea on a dog. Goodbye!