Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Saturday 7 January 2017

It's been hard going

A week into 2017 and I'm struggling. I've not had a bite and have seen very few birds, yet work has been frantic. Four days of late shifts, to begin the year, so at least I avoided the, 04.50 hrs, alarm on Tuesday morning - that dreaded first day back! Hopefully, Benno, Luke, Bryn and I will be perch fishing, at Sandwich Coarse Fishery, over the weekend - I am sure that this venue has some potential. although a three might prove a tough challenge? Two's are relatively numerous, so a good venue to tweak a few rigs and play around with bait presentation in the hope of taking the lessons to a fishery with bigger specimens.
I'm going with "prawns" as hook bait (Benno & Luke prefer lob-worms and/or drop-shotting) and also planning to use a float for the first time since 1980! I have a, three piece, Diawa Amorphous Whisker 13' match rod which will be fitted with an ABU Cardinal 44X reel and float set-up whilst using a small cage feeder, on a Tring Tench rod, an electronic alarm and light weight indicator for my second presentation. Impossible to concentrate on two floats? Watching one, for a prolonged period, will be enough of a challenge knowing how easily I get distracted by bank side wildlife.

One of these scurrying about on the opposite bank could easily distract me from a float!
There are some excellent Youtube offerings relating to tackle and tactics for Perch and Chub, if you choose to peruse the internet? Some are very professional, others much more off the cuff and lacking the slick presentation of Nash, Fox or Korda. I am not bothered by the quality of production if an idea or decent fish is the focus of the offering - it is a great medium for anglers to share their experiences and opinions. Mark Erdwin (please click the link) is one such video blogger who uses this facility to demonstrate how enjoyable angling can be - he does his thing, his way. Can't think why I would associate myself with such behavior?
However, there is a trend which I am really concerned by. Carp angling has a massive influence within current thinking, celebrity carp anglers are setting a terrible example, to my way of thinking. Why bother sticking a hook in a fish, if you can't be bothered to weigh it? Now I accept that this statistic is purely man-made and egotistical, however, guesstimation has no place in speccy hunting. It's a mid-twenty, a thirty?  Some of these demonstrations being nothing short of embarrassing - the fish being nowhere close to the claimed weight. Then a carp angler catches a pike and everything goes pear shaped? Benno and Bryn were on the RMC when they were told about a pike of 63 lbs "it's the new record - you know?" taken from the canal. If only anglers realized how rare wild twenty pound pike are. I'd have loved to have that guy tell me of a record pike. "Do I have C**T written on my forehead?" I fully accept that weight plays no part in the enjoyment of any angling situation. However, if you wish to engage in meaningful conversation, knowing the weight of the specimens which have graced your landing net, is very beneficial, if you have no desire to make a twat of yourself? I am very fortunate to be able to include Richie Francis within the circles of my contacts - we fished together, at Wilstone, during the early 80's. He was anal, in his quest for accurate recording of the fish he caught. If Rich said it went 2 lbs 15 oz (Roach) then it went 2 lbs 15 oz - never going to be a three!

Modern carp angling has decreed that if it looks like a thirty - then it is one. How big was Benno's first twenty (there's a clue there!)


  1. Dyl, when I realised that a Startops 3lb Roach was a possibility (Steve Gorrick caught one of 3lb 1/2oz in Sept '83'), I was determined that accuracy was paramount. I bought some very accurate scales which measured 4lb' x 1oz. I also laid my hands on a calibrated 1lb weight to zero the scales in with. Once this was done I was confident I could weigh to within a half ounce.
    In Febuary of 1984, I landed a fish which went 2lb 15 & 1/2oz. It wasn't a 3lb.
    Good job it wasn't a 3lb. I'd made clear to all and sundry that if I caught a 3, I'd jump in the canal. Lee and Jeff reckoned that if I hadn't jumped, they would have thrown me in.
    As Jeff slyly mentioned after the fish had been returned, "That was lucky Ric!".

    1. Richie - I well remember how anal you were, way back then - weight was paramount; accuracy was everything! I have done my best to ensure that those statistics which are recorded within my diary pages are accurate, an ounce here or there? What I find baffling is the glib announcement of "another mid twenty" - "a thirty" as if it were like going shopping at Tesco! These fish deserve more respect than this - surely? If you can find the £1,000's to indulge in modern carp angling, that extra £30 for a set of scales shouldn't be too prohibitive?

  2. My biggest Carp is 15lb 3oz from the GU Canal in 1980, so if I ever caught one bigger, there's a good chance I'd weigh it.
    I agree that such fish deserve to be recorded. However, the modern carp angler quite often isn't really an angler at all, so maybe we have to make allowances. At least we may be able to buy up all their discarded tackle for peanuts when they drift off to play another game.

    1. One of the supervisors, at work, has a nice little side line in buying up gear from "failed carp anglers" then keeping whatever he requires and the e-baying the rest. I got a pair of Maximizer 70 "Big Pits" for £30 - very nice! Sye also dabbles in this lucrative market, although he's a little more selective with his purchases - usually technology rather than hardware, of which he has all he needs. The reason that these guys become disillusioned is fairly obvious - the hype surrounding carp angling rarely lives up to unrealistic expectations. The whole industry has portrayed itself as a lad's jolly up! Beer, laughs and plenty of big fish. The reality is far from this idyll - we earned our fish, we did our apprenticeships chasing "lesser" species, learning the skills and watercraft required to assist our efforts in pursuit of our chosen quarry. It's only now that I realize how special my time on Tring was; not just the fishing, but the characters who impacted upon my own development, as an angler, during this halcyon period.