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!


Tuesday 21 May 2024

Split cane mayhem

 I actually managed to grab a short, four and a half hours, session down at Sandwich Coarse Fishery this morning. I'd decided that it was about time the 1959 B. James & Son, Dick Walker Mk IV's got an outing so, fitted with my ABU Cardinal 66X's, off I went in search of enjoyment. That I was spoilt would probably be a massive understatement - it was total carnage. My baited rigs were in the fishery by 07.30 hrs and it only took an hour before the right hand set-up saw some action.

The rod is sixty-five years old, the reel is almost new being just forty-nine.
It might well be "Old School" but the enjoyment level is off any scale I've experienced.

Although the rod might have been built sixty-five years ago as a one and a half pound test curve, compound taper, Carp tamer. The truth is that in 2024, they have all the backbone of a stick of liquorice, and yet still retain that ability to cope with the lunges of any Carp I am likely to encounter on my waters of choice. That fish provided an adrenaline rush, and some, before being drawn over the net chord. A Mirror of 25 lbs 8 oz, absolutely brilliant and the largest fish I've managed to capture using the rod that my family gave me as a 60th birthday present. 

I know that it's a silly hat, but there you go, it's on my head not yours!

The rain then started to fall and, with it, I had another two bites (on the same rod) before 09.30 hrs. The first was a Common of 10 lbs 1 oz, then another Mirror of 14 lbs 12 oz. It was surreal, as the rain intensified, the fish simply switched off and I spent the next two and a half hours, under the brolly, looking out over a completely bleak scene. That's why angling is such a wonderful hobby. There's no way that a human brain will ever be able to tune in to that of a fish, thus we just have to enjoy the successes when they happen and attempt to gain a little insight into fish behaviour. Whether this knowledge is transferable between fisheries, is up for discussion, but any learning experience has to be utilized  within that bigger picture. Just for the record, for anyone interested? My last five bites at this fishery have all fallen to Chick Peas, my 15mm Wafters and Pop-ups have not registered a murmur during this same period.


  1. An awful lot of today's anglers are very much set in their ways. If you keep doing the same thing day in, day out, you'll never learn a thing. How about trying a ‘change bait’?.... Errrr…. what's that? Specimen anglers can learn a huge amount from watching experienced match anglers! They're masters of adapting…. They have no choice if they are to be successful.

    This tench season, PVA bags of casters have out-fished the maggot feeders 8:1 (thus far). It's usually the other way around…. Why so? Who knows, and who cares!

    Fish being cold blooded, are massively affected by temperature. A change of as little as half a degree can be the difference between feeding and not feeding.

    Fickle creatures indeed brother.


    1. Hi Andy,
      Cheers for the comment. During my journey through angling one of the most influential figures has been Roy Marlow. A match angler, of massive reputation and success, who was happy to share his thoughts with me (on the banks of Grafham) because I was a "speccy" boy not a match angler. The stereotypical approach, that is so prevalent in modern (Carp) angling, ensures that if anyone is prepared to push the boundaries there is every chance they'll be successful purely because they are doing something different.
      As for the fish themselves? Water temperature, depth, wind direction, moon phase and so many other factors will play a role in how they behave that there is never going to be an answer to every conundrum we're faced with. However, the more time spent looking and learning, should certainly increase the chances of getting it right when on the bank.
      Take care & tight lines - see you in the Ethelbert in November (?) - Dyl