Who am I?

My photo
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!


Monday 5 June 2017

Waters new

It was July 1985 when I caught my first twenty pound plus Wels Catfish and September 1991 when I had my last. At that time all the catfish, which were, legally, in the UK fisheries, could be traced back to the original stock at Woburn Abbey - the home of The Duke of Bedford. My PB is a fish, one of eight (?), which was given to Leighton Buzzard AC by the Woburn estate in recognition of the efforts, by their club members, in netting the main lake, prior to the opening of the safari park. As such, it is a fish of which I am very proud, although by modern standards it is a very modest specimen.
I've not used this image previously. My PB Catfish (25 lbs 2 oz) from
Claydon Middle Lake - July 1985
Once Kevin Maddocks had screwed up carp angling, with the publication of "Carp Fever", he then set about catfish. The original aim of The Catfish Conservation Group was to promote the species within UK angling. Kevin, however, had bigger plans - he used the CCG to promote his own vision of an angling travel agency and covert stocking of waters with catfish from "dubious" origins (mainland Europe?) He purchased Withy Pool, next to Henlow Greyhound Racing Track, and, surprise, surprise, the record cat was caught there shortly after. The captor had seen it swallow a Mallard - yeah right! A visionary entrepreneur, without any dispute, Kevin has played a major role in shaping the way freshwater angling, within the UK, evolved. It doesn't matter what my personal thoughts are - he has provided a lot of opportunities for others, to develop and exploit, which have resulted in many more anglers being able to experience the thrills of big fish angling both here and abroad. Some legacy; but not one I'd like to be associated with!

I looked like an advertising feature for "Dragoncarp" - the CK logo emblazoned on much of
the kit that was visible on the bank. What a "Noddy"!
So what's this all about? Benno. Luke & Skunk had arranged an over-nighter at a superb little commercial fishery. The big twist was that we were going there to fish for cats, not carp, a whole new ball game. They got there well ahead of me and stayed after I left, but that's by the by. Benno lost (got destroyed by!) the only catfish hooked. Luke, Skunk and I plagued by weird occurrences. Cats were almost certainly responsible for the twitchy takes and full blown screamers, yet somehow avoided getting hooked. It's a distraction I could do without but, feel sure that, I'll be back there shortly attempting to rectify the situation. I'm fairly confident that all it will take is a bit of tweaking rather than a complete change of tactics.

Red-eyed Damselfly
The weather was kind and there was plenty of wildlife to keep us amused whilst we awaited our bite alarms. Almost as soon as I arrived, there was a Red Kite soaring overhead, quickly followed by a Common Buzzard. Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Song Thrush vied for our attention as the went about their daily chores. I played around with the extension tubes on the 170 - 500 mm lens trying to get some images of the Odonata (dragonflies to you and me!) that call the fishery home.

This rather impressive male Black - tailed Skimmer was patrolling the bank right under my rods.
I'm rather pleased with this one

One dumb fish!
However, I didn't blank because a dopey scamp common took a fancy to a piece of luncheon meat on a size 2 Fang X hook and hung itself. I got a photo because I needed all the help I could get to ensure enough material for a blog entry. One more week of work before we're headed to the sunshine, with much to do, I don't see too many opportunities to get out before we leave!

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