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 6 October 2018

Rubbish, Anglers and other stuff

I joined the Wantsum AA this year, due to having spent a few close season sessions, fishing the beautiful Scroggin's Lake - part of their Marshside Fishery. I was invited to do so by Mick, the bailiff, and was very flattered by this offer as the club has a limited membership. If you've been a regular visitor to the blog you will be well aware that I've not spent any time at the club waters since June 16th, due to my quest for that carp out on the East Kent marshes.
When I returned home from Kefalonia, there was an email waiting for me from Robby Tuck-Brown, the new club secretary, introducing himself to the members, laying out his ideas for the club as he attempts to steer it into the next decade. Asking for advice, and input, from the membership as to what they would like from their club and the committee in the coming year? He finished his piece with a request for members to join a work party at Scroggin's - Saturday 6th Oct at 09.30 hrs. I made a mental note of the date and said to Bev that I'd nip across to help out, but also to introduce myself to those members present, Robby in particular. So I left home just before 05.30 hrs, this morning, headed for The Wantsum for a quick pike session, before making the short drive across to Marshside to join the other guys involved in weed clearance and general tidying of the fishery. I don't need to dwell upon the pike fishing, there's nothing to report - absolutely zilch!

My kit set up on Scroggin's - anyone can spend a day at this beautiful fishery for £10 or £5 for
an evening ticket. 
The work party was a real eye opener. The average age of the folk involved was well passed retirement, I was probably the youngest one there? These anglers keen to give back something to their club. There seems a genuine buzz of enthusiasm this club generates amongst its' membership. They do have a match section, although my impression is that the vast majority of members are simply pleasure anglers, happy to catch whatever species is feeding on the day. My task, this morning, was litter clearance. Why the need? Surely club members take their litter home and yes, I'm confident that club members do. However, to enable the club to function, financially, they allow day ticket anglers to use the venues, even night sessions, at very reasonable prices and this is where the problem with litter arises. Anglers (?), certainly a section of visitors, with no affiliation to the club, treat it with total disregard to any rules. Why take home any rubbish when you can chuck in/over the surrounding hedgerow. I spent an hour and a half doing nothing more than clearing away crap discarded by visitors who have made the effort to travel to this superb site. It was bad enough around the lake, what had been chucked in the vegetation beside the main car park beggared belief. The consensus of the members gathered for the work party was that a polite notice "Please leave the fishery/swim as you found it" with a photo of the debris collected today might be good idea. When I lived in Hemel Hempstead, I was a member of Boxmoor & District AC and on the Westbrooke Mere Fishery gate was the notice "Leave litter - leave the club". This remains my own stance on the problem of users who show total disrespect to the facilities that they visit. Why should someone else have to pick up their rubbish, purely because they're too idle to do so themselves?

The crap that was collected from around the site at Scroggin's Lake today.
That black plastic sack is full of stripped wire coating, so fly tipped next to the toilet,
right in the car park. The only visitors to this venue are those who wish to go
 fishing; it is way too far, from the main road to deliberately drive here just
 to dump some rubbish, thus a rod user was responsible.
Photo is courtesy of Robby Tuck-Brown - thanks for this!
I have to say that I'm convinced the cheaper prices, charged for day tickets, is what draws these socially disfunctional individuals to visit. If the day ticket price was higher it would ensure that visitors were serious about their angling and didn't just own a fishing rod, but no rod licence! It is not the responsibility of the angling club to check for current rod licences, although they might state the legal requirement for one in their terms and conditions on the day ticket. I have been back angling since 2011 and have been checked by the Environment Agency Officers just once, despite my early efforts being concentrated on the very popular commercial fisheries of our area. Why am I bothering paying for a rod licence if I'm not seeing a benefit, or at least an EA presence at these larger venues? I know why, because, like the vast majority of other anglers, I care about my hobby and the countryside that I am privileged to visit during the course of my year's fishing. Here endeth my moaning!

The Carp Porter Mk II - just the job for getting my kit out to my swim. So much easier than trying to carry it all!
The year is quickly passing and my angling priorities will change with the seasons passage into the colder months. My first pike session, today, was very much a going through the motions type of visit. It was the first time I'd cast a dead bait into the venue, so very much a "work in progress" learning curve as I look ahead. Then there is a perch project to embark upon, with a kindred spirit, the plans for which have yet to be discussed in detail. I have a couple of personal targets, that will be used to assist my focus during the coming months. With our building project now very close to a finish, time will again be my own and I should have enough to go off in pursuit of these goals whenever I think there's a chance. One item of kit that I've recently acquired is a secondhand Carp Porter Mk 2 barrow and, although I feel I'm morphing into a first class tackle tart, have to admit that it does make getting my tackle out to my chosen swims so much easier. It also means that I'm able to take all my camera gear with me, so have more flexibility to record the wildlife and scenery as well as my, very occasional, trophy shots. I am finding it a very nice side show, playing around with the lenses, attempting to record alternate images to standard fare that I've become so used to seeing via the various social media platforms.

It was because of  using this old school tackle that Mick Jones (the bailiff) and I started chatting;
which, in turn, led to me getting invited to join this fantastic angling club - The Wantsum AA.


  1. The amount of crap left about can be staggering. That barrow looks like a gun emplacement. To scare the bin dodgers?

    1. BB, it was a real eye-opener for me today. I don't remember the last time I did a club work party. I remain convinced that the low cost of day tickets is reflected in the behaviour of a section of those rod owners (can't call them anglers?) who feel it's OK to leave whatever debris they see fit.
      As for the barrow - I just stacked it up for the photo, as I wanted one for the blog. It certainly doesn't look like that when I'm pushing around the flatlands! Cracking pike you had the other day - nice way to start your winter campaign.
      All the best & tight lines -Dylan

    2. Good work anyway Dyl. Seems a bit warm for pike but then I'm not fussy as long as something pulls my string.