Friday, 29 December 2017

Fishing Diary Winter Part 1

Rod King Cole

I was a very short walk from home. At the back of a small row of shops (a hairdressers, a newsagent etc) was a small yard with two sheds. The end shed was huge, the door propped open and the hum of industrial size fridges ever present. The first shed was smaller, like a normal garden shed. Again the door was propped open. It was a summer morning.

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire"

The singing voice was familiar. It was Rod, the owner of the last shop on the row- Soar Valley Tackle. He was riddling caster maggots which he did three or four times a day. By the time he bagged them up his casters were absolutely perfect. The order book would always be full. I used to rib him about them being pre-packed when he took them from the small fridge in the shop. He'd always take offense, quite rightly so considering the amount of work he put into them.

He always sang that song. I never did understand why. Rod was a draughtsman who had been made redundant and along with a friend decided to set up a tackle shop. Luckily for me it was right at the end of my street. Rod was an avid match angler it was often a who's who of match fishing in the shop. Even on the local river Soar one hundred peg matches were common place. He knew them all and they all knew him. 

I have a room in my house which is almost a shrine to that shop. All the rods he sold, I have. Most of the reels too. I spent so many hours in that shop, both as a customer and as his assistant. He never had a bad word to say about anyone, not one person. Nobody ever said a bad word about him. He was a lovely man. He was my friend.

Roderick Arthur Hubbard

11th March 1944 - 29th November 2017


Winter bites

After a remarkable run of big fish at the start of the winter things went slightly flat for a while. Winter fishing can be very challenging. They seem to feed less frequently and increasingly I'm beginning to question the effects of air pressure/ snow melt/ road salt etc. That's not the type of angler I am though or even want to be. I go fishing regardless and play out what I'm confronted with. I even had a couple of blanks which, all things considered, were hard to take. I know where there are massive amounts of fish all over the county. Trying to catch a very small percentage of them was the stick in the spokes I reconciled. Too my discredit really early on I did catch a Perch of around three pounds while out on the boat with Benidorm Dave and I released it with barely a second look. "It's not four pounds is it." Dave stated. With the light fading rapidly back it went in my rush to get a bigger one, which never materialised. 

Pastures new

An invite from our friend Will Barnard came my way and I jumped at the chance to head down south for a couple of days. The first day was spent on a beautiful part of the river Thames after perch. Typically we both caught lots and lots of perch, sadly no big ones. Will lost a decent fish towards the end of the day, he blamed the American radio station I was listening to. A tenuous excuse. Part of the beauty of angling is that you never stop learning. Sometimes, even if you find fish, the big ones at certain times can be very difficult to catch. On other occasions they can be incredibly easy to fool. Despite trying all sorts of methods and staying till the last minute of daylight we left without our achieving our goals.

The next day I was in for a treat. A real once-in-a-lifetime experience. Will had secured us a day on an exclusive beat of the river Test. Having never caught a grayling this was to be my opportunity to rectify that sad fact. We got to the river quite early in anticipation. Our enthusiasm was soon dented when we realised we had forgotten to put the maggots in the car. "Don't worry, there's a tackle shop around the corner," Will declared.  An hour later we returned with bait.......

I'd asked Will the day before about the river. "Any Perch?" I asked. "I've never caught one from there, very few," he replied. Typically his first two fish of the day were, you guessed it, perch. Bigger than any the day before when we'd been pulling out all the stops to catch one......

The rest of the day was a blur. I did indeed catch my first grayling. In face we both had a round thirty of them. Nothing big, mostly around the pound mark. Great fishing though. The very last fish of the day fell to me and despite doing a great impression of a massive grayling it turned out to be a greedy chub. If I lived closer, I'd be there all the time. Lovely surroundings, great fishing and challenging too. My new very modest PB of 1lb 2oz. Thanks Will.

If in doubt, move

Thanks to one of my fantastic friends word reached me of a spot that had been producing a few decent perch. A venue I had never been to before. As ever the anticipation of a new stretch of water rendered my sleep very fitful and I arrived before the sun came up. Even with frost on the ground I was super confident and I made the most of the warmth of the car until I could see properly. I had the chaos twins with me and they hurried ahead, as excited about the new surroundings as their owner.

I settled in a peg I had been told about. A couple of floats were thrown out baited with big lobworms and I sat back expectantly. The amount of predator activity was incredible. Pike and hopefully perch were striking at bait fish all over the river, in all directions, as far as I could see. An amazing sight. Three hours later all I had to show for my efforts were a couple of hybrids and one small perch. I set up a lure rod and had a wander. That produced a couple of perch straight away close to where I had been fishing. It was still bloody freezing and a storm front was moving in. The wind in particular was really howling. I considered just going home but something made me move. I'd like to say it was intuition but the area I went to was a lot shallower and moving so it went against everything I thought I knew. 

First cast was a beauty. Tight to the far bank in two feet of water. The float moved along steadily before that magical moment when it dips slightly and then disappears totally. It was a perch and a good one too. I had to put the camera behind some thick vegetation to shield it from the near gale force wind.  3lb 2oz.......

I slipped it into the keepnet and coaxed the float down the far bank again. Sure enough it went under in exactly the same place. Another belter........

On the next run through hooked a pike which bit me off but not before charging all over the peg. Undeterred I carried on and sure enough the float just kept going under. I was sure I had another perch on but it was just a little too dogged towards the end which had me wondering. Sure enough a tench popped up. A bloody tench, in November, trotting worms. It was only a couple of pounds so went straight back. Next up another Pike and another hook replaced. Fishing 6lb double strength straight through on one of my no-lock float rods I can exert a massive amount of pressure if needed. Sure enough I fluked one in the scissors next cast. A bit of  a beast too.....

With the pike released further downstream I set after the perch again. I was pretty sure there were more to be had before the weather forced me off. The float travelled further than before but with the same result, a small indication and then sailing away. I hit into a good fish. A perch again, great. That is until a big paddle tail appeared. Another tench. This was crazy.

5lb 7oz
And so it continued......

5lb 14oz

6lb 4oz Male
The male Tench went absolutely nuts. One of the hardest fighting river fish I've ever caught. I also had another smaller one in among them. Five tench from a river in November, in a gale, after a frost. Quite unbelievable. The three biggest were all PB's. I've had four and maybe even five pound fish in matches before but never really targeted them. I still haven't. 

Old friends

I had a couple of emails last month. Jez and Chris share my passion for one local venue in particular. They were happy to share stories and I'm very grateful that they are so friendly. I even met Jez down there recently. It's never far from from my thoughts and there aren't many weeks I'm not walking the banks, sometimes not even fishing, just being nosy. Seems the resident Otter has developed a taste for perch.......

I've been finding stuff like this for five years now. I have to admit though this one hurt. It was in an area I had been fishing. I know the river as well as anyone and the Perch had holed up in a place I'd not known them to be before. It took me ages to find them too. Looks like Tarka beat me to one of the real big ones. I lifted it to throw back in, at least maybe a Pike could benefit from the rest I thought, the shear weight shocked me. I daren't weigh it. Would it have been four pounds alive? Well, that's a size eleven shoe. Make your own mind up.

Anyway. I had my gear with me so I had a go. Right into dark. I heard the Otter come through my peg. He didn't expect to see me sat there. Tough. I ended up with five to 2lb 12oz. All caught really tight to some cover. Hiding probably......

I'm no expert but Perch of that size will have reproduced many times. It's the Cormorants taking the small ones that I really worry about. There is a gang of twenty or more that roost by another river nearby and they cause havoc locally. I never thought I'd say this but they need managing somehow. The Otters, I can live with. More than that, I'm really proud of the fact they have recovered. How it happened is largely irrelevant.

I've been back a few times. I can't beat 2lb 12oz but they are stunning fish. Really special.....

2017 Round up

It's been a great year for me. Five years now a specimen hunter and I've had over ten PB's this year. Barbel, Tench, Bream, Grayling, Perch, Brown Trout, Thornback Ray, Gilthead Bream, Wrasse, Carp, Catfish and Salmon. In true Desert Island Discs fashion if I had to choose one it would be the Gilthead Bream. It wasn't even very big but the story behind it and the build-up made it personally satisfying. From a conversation in a tackle shop a seed was sown and we set about making the myth a reality. We couldn't park, we were wet, hungry and four hundred miles from home. One fish made it all worthwhile. Shame on every single person that feels the need to kill them. There's a fucking Tesco across the road if you're that desperate for some protein.


That tackle shop in Cornwall provided us with all the information we needed. I buy stuff online, of course I do but I also try and support my local shops and they offer unrivalled service. Big Catch Tackle in Chapel St Leonards are always very nice to me. They have everything you could possibly want. They also have a great mail order service and shop on amazon. Horncastle Angling are also great to me. Again they have a great stock. Lastly W.A.G's Angling in Skegness. Much like Rod, owners Geoff and Gary are match anglers. If you need good bait, they are your men. 

All my friends at SHUK (Specimen Hunting UK).

 Benidorm Dave, Paul Coulthurst.

 John, Steve and Xavier at Big Catch Tackle.

Last but not least....

You. Thanks for reading.


3lb 13oz river PB at the time. One of over twenty 3lb+ Perch in 2017.

Improve Your Course Fishing

Angling Times. Included 20 Roach over a pound 

3lb 10oz Wrasse

PB Barbel

First Double

PB Carp 20lb 4oz

First Cat

Best Smoothound year yet. Only two Doubles though

Not all about the big guys. First Tope.
Everybody loves Raymond
3lb 15oz River Perch PB

Till next time...............

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Interview Series Part 5

Andy Wilson

Age, Occupation?

53. I spent twenty-five years in transport and logistics management before running my own business for nine years installing solid fuel heating systems. Twelve months ago I decided to take a sabbatical and am currently a white van man.

Earliest fishing memory? 

I always just loved water and being around it. I remember a family holiday to the Lakes when I was about five and I was catching elvers in the river that flows into Grassmere in one of those kiddies nets with a cane handle.


It was a holiday three or four years later to Muddyford in Dorset when I saw a boat come in with a Blue Shark on the back and kids using crab lines off the harbour wall that the angling spark was ignited. I nagged for about twelve months for a rod and reel and eventually became the proud owner of a boys fishing outfit from Woolworths. My first fish using it were bullheads on bits of worm from the Blackbrook near Shepshed. My first genuine proper fish was a Rudd from the Bude canal in Cornwall, again on a summer holiday.

How did you progress from then on?

I didn't know anyone that fished, I had no mentor, my father had no interest and neither did anyone else in the family. I had to teach myself everything really, learning from my mistakes as I went along. I read a lot too. The likes of Walker and of course Mr Crabtree, but it was Ivan Marks who probably had the greatest influence and I was fortunate years later when I met him a few times and even fished a few pegs away from him on one memorable occasion.


Once I reached High School I made new friends and quite a few fished, some with their fathers and we had regular trips to the local canal, lakes and best of all- the river Trent. I soon got into match fishing with the local Ashby and Measham Angling club and I had quite a successful time on the junior match scene. Good times.  

How long did the match fishing last and what drew you away from it?

I fished matches between the ages of twelve and sixteen. I think deep down turning up, drawing a swim and fishing to a whistle was never going to be my thing for long. I was too much of a free spirit. When I caught my first proper fish on the family holiday to Cornwall I'd seen a youth catch an enormous common carp, looking back it must have been all of four pounds. It made a lasting impression. Carp had always fascinated me not least due to Walker's writings, I must have read his account of his record carp capture a hundred times. So bubbling away under the surface there was always a desire to one day fish for those mythical creatures. The hot summer of 1976 was probably the turning point as the local carp spawned successfully so by 1980 I was targeting those little carp of three or four pounds. I caught loads and learnt a tremendous amount. I really enjoyed it too and it lit the fire to chase bigger ones which is where my fishing went from 1980 onwards. I became an out and out carp angler.

Carp angling is notoriously difficult in winter. I know you also played cricket during the summers and had a young family at the the time. How did you balance everything out? 

Actually back when I was starting out I don't think winter carp fishing was that difficult, my mates and I used to catch them regularly enough. This was before fishmeal baits and heavy angling pressure. The carp were very green and catchable. What I didn't like about winter carping was the lack of stalking opportunities and not seeing the fish. After carping for a few winters I got the pike bug and morphed into a summer carper, winter piker and stayed like that for years interspersed with the odd dalliance with barbel.


Regarding cricket, I'd always played from a kid and did right up until around four years ago. I loved the game and played for Leicestershire right through the junior ranks and played for an exceptional club side where I played alongside seven guys who had or went on to play test cricket, heady times. The fishing was always fitted in around everything else really and it worked well for me and still does. I love angling as much as anyone but it has never been to the exclusion of everything else. By my early twenties I had married for the first time and a daughter and son soon followed within a few years. I still angled, probably a bit less than before, usually a 'quick' overnighter or very early morning session on the weekend and was back home before I was missed.

You also kept carp didn't you? Tell us the lengths you went to.

Yes I really got into keeping Koi. It was around the time the kids came came along, I guess it was a substitute for doing less angling. It was a hobby I could do at home and still be available for the family, the kids loved it too. I ended up as the secretary of the Leicestershire Koi Society and allsorts. As for the lengths I went to, I just had the usual six foot deep, several thousand gallon heavily filtered pond, heated by its own gas boiler, nothing special, lol. 


Old carpers may remember the name Geoff Kemp. He disappeared from carp fishing and got into keeping Koi big time.One year I bought a high quality eight inch Koi from him, I actually ordered it from him while he and the fish were still in Japan. Anyway the day came to fetch it from Geoff's which required a four hour round trip. I got the little beauty home and settled it into the pond nicely. I got up the next morning and it had jumped out and was lying in the middle of the lawn, stiff as a board. A great shame.

I've only known you for a few years but can't remember you fishing for carp at all. What happened?

In the late 90's my personal life had been put through the mill, I'd got divorced which is never easy but even more so when kids are involved. I had moved to Burton-On -Trent and found myself in the wilderness for several years. It was a real low point, the kids were my priority and I was spending as much time as I could with them. My fishing was all short session stuff local to Burton, the Trent, the Dove and a few gravel pits. Looking back I was just going through the motions I suppose.


In 1999 I met Jules and we married in 2001 and now sixteen years later I couldn't be happier. I'm a very lucky man as she supports me in all I do. I got right back into my fishing however the carp fishing was losing its spark for me. I guess I'm a bit of a romantic and I loved the sense of the unknown, the pioneering, the magic that came as part and parcel of early my carping. It had become a big cult-like machine and it wasn't for me any longer. Previously quiet waters had become so busy, everyone had all the kit, everything could be bought off-the-shelf, there were no unknowns anymore. The same old fish were coming out time after time. I was tired of it. I needed my own space and to recapture the magic so about twelve years ago I diversified into other species and I've never regretted it for a single second. Nowadays I love fishing for whatever I am after on the day.

You explored carp baits in almost forensic depths didn't you? I think you may have carried that over into aspects of your fishing today. have you ever considered that you might over think things or is it just part of your nature?

Oh, without doubt I over think things massively. As you probably know from some of our forays, I've got a theory on most things and occasionally one of them works, lol. 


I loved that carp bait development era, I wasn't alone. crikey, the hours of research and pratting about in the kitchen but I relished it. Nowadays I think we all acknowledge much of it was a waste of time, carp and some other species will eat more or less anything. If a bait has a degree of attraction, the fish like the taste of it then you are in the game. Ironically my UK personal best was caught on sweetcorn. In addition to the bait thing I've always enjoyed and still do, making my own bits of gear. it just adds a bit of something to my own enjoyment. 

What is the worst idea you've ever had?

I could be a while.


Hand rolling several kilos of very expensive milk protein bait using duck eggs. I had a colleague who kept ducks and he let me have a load of eggs for nothing. So I rolled all this bait and to a boilie the whole lot floated like corks.   

Trying cod deadbait for pike. That was about twenty years ago, if I hadn't wound in I'm sure it would still be there (cue someone to say they've caught on cod).

Using a concrete block I found on the bank to get my sun lounger bedchair level right next to my rods so i could hit any twitches during the night. It was a memorable night, I was listening to Alan Wells winning the 100m at the Moscow Olympics on my transistor radio. Anyway during the early hours the concrete block gave way, the sun lounger cocked up and i slid straight into the lake in my sleeping bag. 

Having witnessed you falling off a gently sloping beach I can easily picture the last one.

You could be forgiven for thinking I am accident prone but honestly I'm not, far from it. I was an outstanding gymnast at school. I am though, very unlucky.

 Among other things you've caught Sturgeon in Canada and Bonefish in Belize. When you get the holiday brochures out now, does Jules suspect foul play?

Not for a minute. I love an adventure, always have and thankfully so does Jules, especially if she can join me. Angling in general is like that for me, I've always seen every trip as an adventure even if it is a day on the Welsh coast or a trip to a Lincolnshire drain, I'm a big kid at heart. I made five trips to Holland back in the day before France became the mecca for big carp angling. I too went to France many times including Cassien in the early days. Now it is other things much further afield that I look forward to planning. I have a few trips in the pipeline.

Favourite fish?


Favourite capture?

My first big Perch, 3lb 6oz from Blenheim. I've caught bigger since but it blew me away, made a huge impression.

Favourite capture by someone else?

The Black mirror by Jason Haywood from 'the mere'. Uncaught and unknown, true pioneering under very difficult circumstances.

Best session?

That's a tough one. In terms of specimen fish I guess this summers barbel catch of ten fish in four hours including seven doubles is pretty memorable. I also had nine double-figure bream on an overnight session last year. A big haul of three pound plus perch.


I could go on but these days catching nice fish with good mates means a lot. that said, I still prefer to fish alone and fish best when I've go the bit between my teeth.

How much money would you want, say if your mates had a whip round, to grow your mullet back?

I'd do it for nothing, I loved that mullet, it is Juli you'd have to bribe, she hates it when my hair grows past a number three. 

Pet hates?

Carp lingo and all its dreaded cliches- 'Quick' overnighter; stunning; woodcarving; pukka, etc.


And top of the tree- 'made up for you'.


Oh and 'buzzing', that really does my swede in.

Fishing will be banned the day after tomorrow, where do you go for your last session?

The middle Trent, I love it there. As mentioned I went there in my early days, learnt to trot a stick float there etc. It's a different river now to the 70's. It's clean, weedy but full of fish again and best of all it is quiet. I rarely see a soul often having to cut swims out of the undergrowth. For many people the Trent appears to start and finish with Collingham and the tidal reaches but it has so much more to offer. 


First carp by design
First 20lb carp

Press cutting, nice jacket.
A Heather brickyard Mirror
Old Leney Mirror

First 30lb carp

45lb PB
Closed season Trout
River Dove barbel, late 80's 
30lb 6oz pike going back
Early 20+ pike
Cambridgeshire zander
Blenheim Perch
Trent barbel

Double figure Bream

6lb 10oz Chub

Belize bone

200+ Sturgeon, one of several taken to 350lb


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The Interview Series Part 4

Nate Green

Age, Occupation?

30, Pest control technician

Earliest Fishing Memory?

Fishing on the Kentish Stour, at Plucks Gutter with my dad. I was fishing a little float in the margins. I can't really recollect what I was catching but I think my first fish may have been a gudgeon.

Would your dad take you automatically after that or did you have to ask to be taken?

I'd have to ask him to be sure but he was a keen angler long before I was born so I'd imagine he'd have taken me as soon as he could get away with it. I have photos of me still in nappies out fishing with my dad.

Do you have favourite memories from the early days?

We used to walk to a spot we called the 'secret place'. It was a pool on the Stour, right at the upper end where the river itself is just a few feet across. The pool was a lot wider, deeper and slower. It was very remote, in the middle of nowhere really. We used to sit on a bridge there catching chub and gudgeon while experiencing the fabulous wildlife. It was perfect. 


I can't actually remember catching many fish from there but I remember playing pooh sticks and watching a pike in the water right under my nose whilst laying on my front with my head over the edge. I saw my first ever Mink there, which I'm still fond of even though they're technically not meant to be here. 

What were the first specimen fish you specifically targeted?

I think that catching big fish was a by-product of starting to catch specific species by design. My first targeted specimen was a perch on a big jig from my uncle's pond in the midlands when I was about fourteen. It was full of perch and not much else but I was sure there were some big ones. I used a big twin-tailed grub and did lap upon lap of the pond. On my fifth lap I had a take and it was a perch of 2lb 12oz, about 2lb 8oz bigger than anything we had seen in there. It was an amazing moment.

What about those tench you told me about before that you and your dad used to catch?

That was earlier when I was around eight to ten. I wouldn't have thought of them as specimens, that was everyday fishing to me at the time. I took it for granted. These days I'd pay good money for fishing like that. 

How big were they?

The tench were between three and six pounds along with a few bream up to around eight pounds. We would weigh the tench if we thought they were over five pounds. 

You Kent anglers are spoilt! Give me the details.

We would be up for porridge at three am which made me gag but it was tradition I guess. We'd arrive at the swim around an hour before first light to set up and put some bait out. Groundbait would have been a smorgasbord of various particles, usually hemp, corn and dead maggots mixed up with Expo groudbait, brown crumb and strawberry flavouring. We usually started off with starlights on our wagglers, fishing three rodlengths out in six to eight feet of water just over the marginal shelf. My dad would use what he called 'walking sweetcorn', which was two red maggots and a grain of corn. The bites usually started around the time we didn't need the starlights anymore and it was crazily good fishing. We would often have to empty the keepnet before filling it up for a second time. It was mostly tench but every fifth or sixth fish would be a bream. Oh and the odd sizeable roach or rudd.

Do you still eat porridge?

Haha, that made me giggle because I literally hate it but still force myself to eat it if I need a good breakfast before an early morning fishing session. My step father used to put salt on his! Gross.

Tell us about your angling development after that?

It all became about catching things by design, this strange philosophy that it is much better to catch a tench while tench fishing than while fishing for something else. I'd go with my dad and he would just fish whereas I'd actually try and target something. I started taking myself fishing for chub on my bike, catching hundreds from my local Stour, nothing big but a great learning curve and very enjoyable. I fell in love with perch fishing after catching my first 'two' and caught a few using all kinds of methods. When I caught that perch from my uncle's pond it was an equal PB and more importantly, it made me aware I could find big fish by design.


I also did a fair amount of carp fishing but could never do anything for too long without wanting a change so it would be broken up by a days lure fishing or a day on the waggler. 

You have a degree don't you? How did you balance your passion for angling with your studies?

Yes, I have a BA in Fine Art as a sculptor and later a conceptual artist.


I was never very adept at balance. Between going fishing and getting drunk I didn't leave much time for my studies at all. Luckily I was able enough to make it all work out but I could have done a lot better at university if I had applied myself more. I ended up with a 2:2.

How does a young man with a fine art degree end up working in a fishing tackle shop?

Going into art was never a career choice, I just loved it and excelled at it during school. I just followed my nose and ended up with a degree. 


I did a work experience at my local tackle shop while at secondary school. That then turned into a Saturday job while I was at college. I then went to work at a cookie shop for years when I was at Uni. after that I was asked by my old manager if I would go and work as his deputy in the shop under the new ownership of Angling Direct.

You've left the tackle trade now and sadly that coincided with an end to your support from Fox International which I know you were really proud of. How do you deal, not just with that but the general highs and lows angling delivers?

I go through highs and lows like any other angler, it's very easy to convince people that all you do is catch big fish but sometimes you can go months without anything to write home about. I get really down and gloomy when things aren't going my way but I try and stay focused on what could happen. I've just has a stint of catching nothing for all my efforts, I was absolutely miserable last week but this week I had a couple of good perch and now I'm feeling great again. 


The Fox thing really knocked me for six. I was promised that my resignation from the tackle trade wouldn't affect my position as a sponsored angler so it came as somewhat of a shock to be told I was being dropped. This was also just after I'd caught an eighty-seven pound Common and three fifties in a week, I couldn't understand it. It shows how fickle the tackle trade is though. I don't harbour any grudges and still vouch for Fox gear where I feel it is good. I've always believed in giving credit where credit is due and i understand that it wasn't personal. The real shame is that it will be another young impressionable angler with real talent next time, and the time after that.

I can almost guarantee nobody reading this will have caught an 87lb carp. Talk us through it.

I was actually eating some chili biltong. The take wasn't spectacular, the bobbin just pulled up tight and there was a tick....tick....tick of the drag. I lifted into it and it felt like any other fish except smoother, you don't gets nods on the rod tip with a fish like that, you get lunges. It then kited across my two other lines and just felt very positive all the way in from around a hundred and ten yards. I knew from experience it was a good fish, wallowing around, determined and forceful but not blistering at all. It was a full half an hour later that I started to think it could be a really big fish but was still only thinking of a possible Pb which was fifty-eight and a half at the time. 
Looking back I had no idea what I was actually attached to. After forty-five minutes it was ready for the net and I was ready for a hospital bed. My friend Chris netted it for me and I joked about him struggling to get it into the forty-five inch landing net thinking he'd timed it slightly wrong. I was trying to regain my energy when I thought Chris said- "It's a big girl.". I asked him if he thought it would be sixty and he said- " No Nate, it is THE big girl'. To be honest my world kind of melted. I hadn't a clue that it was that big. I took another good look at her in the net and realised she was poking out of either side by a good eighteen inches. 
I went into control mode then. I got everything sorted for the various weighing and photographing that was to come, called the lake owners and the other two anglers. I called Mike Lyddon too but he thought I was lying so he stayed in bed. Thankfully Jack came around and did the pictures. I got in the water with my waders on and had some videos and photos done. It was like the twilight zone. Eighty-seven pounds! I'm a right knob with that PB now. I tell people I have completed carp fishing. It's great fun.

Favourite Fish?


Favourite capture?

5lb 5oz Eel

Best session?

17 tench including fish of 8-11, 9-12, 9-12, 9-14 and 10-3 in 36 hours.

Favourite capture by someone else?

Peter Springate's capture of Mary and Mary's mate, the photo in my opinion is the best angling image ever. 

What would you rather have in your mouth- some porridge oats or one of Mike Lyddon's fingers? 

Haha. Porridge oats or literally anything else in the world, except for Mike's other appendages.

Pet Hates?



A very young Nate.
The smile says it all.
Uncle's pond.
10lb 3oz tench.

5lb 5oz Eel
4lb 3oz perch PB.

87lb Common

PB barbel

11lb 11oz PB tench
23lb 8oz pike.

58lb 8oz Mirror

Till next time......