From the water’s edge

August 2015 - Marginal improvement

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking. If this form will not work for you, please e-mail me at

There are inherent problems associated with writing a journal for public consumption. What do you write when all that happens is more of the same. What if all the fish you catch are small, just as they were last week, and the one before and the one before that? How many different ways are there to photograph a 4 oz perch. I apologise in advance for the lack of drama yet again. But isn’t that fishing in the real world?

Maybe there are anglers, maybe well known ones at that, who (claim to?) catch something special every week, week in, week out. If there are , I am glad I am not one of them because if you achieve the extraordinary every time, then it just isn’t extraordinary any more is it? I do like the idea that a two pound perch is still a great prize rather than just another perch that didn’t weigh three pounds.

So with my excuses out of the way, let me drag you kicking and screaming to the banks of our local big river to see what a mess we made of it this week.

I can’t deny it any longer - fishing here was Pete’s idea. I also can’t deny that I thought it a good idea but as it turned out to be less than spectacular, I am not going to admit that. We have fished here several times in the past, with little success. Maybe a couple of perch each, with the odd marbled nuisance poking its toothy nose in, but the river here flatters to deceive. It is deep, dark, wide and bone idle, barely mustering the enthusiasm to shift its water from one end of the stretch to the other during the course of a hot lazy morning. I passed more water than the river did while we were there. It is full of snags, lilies and strapweed in the margins and god knows what else out in the over-dredged depths. Whatever is out there, be it trees or old cars, they must be covered in lures by now, most of them mine, but despite that cruel expense, just once in a while something interesting has suggested itself, like the time Pete’s potentially biggest pike from the venue turned into an eight pound zander in the side before spitting the hook. So, we are tempted into returning at irregular intervals. It has potential. Potential coupled with a meanness of spirit. We weren’t expecting much.

Those lilies were pole territory however and no mistake. After a slow start, we twitched and tweaked a fair few small perch from beneath their shady canopies, but when I say small, I do mean not very big. One or two of Pete’s made the search for Higg’s boson look like money down the drain. I can’t fairly say that either of us were wildly energised by the experience although we finished the morning very pleasantly surprised at just how much more effective the pole had been than any other method we had used there before. I reckon we caught twice as many today as on all our other visits put together, so it was a result of sorts.

The biggest landmark for me was the effectiveness of my 3.5 inch ribsters. I am convinced that they will catch me much bigger fish if I could just present them to much bigger fish. I haven’t learned much in 57 years of fishing but I have worked out that you can only catch what is in front of you and that the most successful big fish anglers are no more technical geniuses than any number of other anglers but they do fish waters with lots of big fish in them. Not only that but most of them learn of those waters from other people rather than their own efforts. I have stories, boy do I have stories. I just need some of the subjects to pass away first for legal reasons.

I have been side-tracked, but it was one of those days. Being side-tracked, by hares and buzzards and kingfishers, and even old tales from the past was probably more interesting than the fishing. It’s that time of the year. Next week I am off to the South coast for bass, so batten down the hatches if you live in Sussex. I invariably bring gales and pestilence in equal measure when I head South.   

artificial lite



journal 2015.


journal 2015.