Jack Of All Trades

Many of you might not know me. My name is Alan Blair and I'm, basically, Kevin Nash's right hand man at the Nash Tackle empire. My work is incredibly varied and I'm involved in almost everything the company produces from initial design, samples, testing, marketing and ultimately to sales. What this means is that one week I'll be in the office, the next week I'll be in Holland and then a UK show, or maybe even far away inspecting samples and production at our manufacturers in China!

Due to all this variation, my life is mad. Because I'm never in one place for that long, it's really difficult to string together any regular sessions and, as such, I tend not to do much in the way of concerted campaigns. But I don't mind! I love the variation I have in my fishing and I really enjoy that in the space of a week I could be fishing for carp in a foreign inland ocean or trotting a float down a narrow Essex river for Roach.

So, that's a little taster of what you might expect. Hopefully, my blog will be entertaining and varied - either way its sure to be a bit different, and I apologise in advance for all the Nash references along the way!

Right then, so let's get to some fishing! So as we're now in February, I'll start from a few weeks back in the middle of January.

Kevin was away in the Maldives over Christmas and the New Year and whilst you might think that this will mean things are nice and quiet for us (when the cat's away, etc…), you'd be sadly mistaken! We're such a large and varied organisation that we've always got projects in development so it really is non stop.

Alan BlairWhat with the inevitable increase in work caused by Kev's absence, it wasn't until mid-Jan that I was able to get out, so I decided that it was time that my friend Matt and I took a walk on the weekend to explore a big inland sea for future carping potential. Never one to waste an opportunity, we took the puppy and a lure rod and I managed to bag myself a couple of jacks from a nearby river – it was absolutely freezing, but I was all wrapped up in my Zero Tolerance Clothing and it really was a pleasant way to spend a weekend and blow off some of the cobwebs.
Among the various bits and pieces that I had to do the following week, one was to watch the first edit of the promo DVD which will be in the shops NOW! We're really pleased with it. It's a little piece of artwork. Winston, our cameraman, is an absolute legend and the production of both this and Kev's Final Account DVD is amazing. One of the highlights of the filming was catching a carp during failing light right in the middle of the barrow filming sequence – Winston was doing his nut trying to get everything ‘just so' and there I was causing him more headaches! If you watch the film, you might notice my knees are suddenly wet between scenes! I promise you it was the carp and not incontinence! If you're not able to pop into a shop and grab a copy of it, the free promo DVD is on You Tube now where you'll be able to see all the new products for 2012.

We also spent a lot of that week developing a new concept with Kev - oh dear, it's a blockbuster - roll on October when we can tell you more!

The weekend of the 21st of January saw the first Norfolk Carp & Coarse Angling show in Norwich. We had a massive presence there with all the rods, beds, bivvies and more, along with a bait making display and terminal tackle demo's. The Nash Peg One and Fish Frenzy boys were also in attendance and were demonstrating loads of new products. We were unexpectedly over-staffed for the Saturday, so I made an executive decision (cough!) and went fishing instead! I'm still not sure how all my river fishing kit materialised in the van but sure enough there it was – who'd have thought it eh!

With the show in good hands, I was free to accept an invitation to visit the Bridge Inn at Lenwade where they have a couple of lakes and a lovely stretch of river. In this part of the world there is a huge otter problem and the boys at the Bridge Inn have done a phenomenal job of protecting their carp fisheries from them.

Otter Fence
Otters keep out!

River FishingI had always wanted to fish the Wensum purely because of the John Wilson programs I've seen over the years - Big Up John – Legend! I kicked off by baiting a few spots for tip fishing after dark, but started the session trotting a stick on the pin on a lovely deeper run under an old bridge which formed part of the old Marriotts Way steam railway line

Every run down produced a bite, it was absolutely heaving with fish and I caught 6 nice roach up to 8oz, plus LOTS of Dace (40 odd) up to 6oz. It really was a great little run and a simple pint of red and bronze maggots flavoured with Scopex No1 was all that was needed.

A lovely way to spend the (unseasonably mild) afternoon.

A Dace on every run through the swim

As the day progressed, and with the light fading rapidly it was time to get a tip rod out in search of something a little larger BUT on one of my last runs through the peg I did land this mystery fish (see photo). Now my fish identification should be a lot better, but I'm not sure if this is a young sea trout or even possibly a Salmon Parr? Any experts out there?

Salmon Parr
Mystery fish - any experts out there?
{looks like a salmon parr to me - Ed}

Anyway, as I said before, when I first arrived at the river I walked the stretch and baited a number of holding areas with a couple of bait droppers full of Bait Zone hemp, maggot and meat (flavoured in the Magic Whiskey formula). To cut a long story short, I lost two chub (one to a hook pull and one in a snag) and landed two (just under a couple of pounds and one of 3lb 8oz). I also had three possible otter sightings - two were just big splashes under the rod tip (could have been anything but my suspicions suggest something furry afoot!). The third was 100% a beast of some description as it shot off down stream creating a tidal wave as it went before making a huge splash as it dived down towards a raft I was fishing. Needless to say that after all three of these instance the taps and knocks on the tip disappeared and I think there is only one culprit to blame.

Wensum Chub
The Biggest of my day on the Wensum

I really did enjoy the few hours I spent there and can only imagine how great the fishing must have been, back in the day, when the predators weren't so rife!!

By all accounts, the show went really well too with the retailers having sold out of all the Nash Products we'd been demo-ing after the first few hours!

Well that brings me to the end of the first piece. I'll be back in a couple of weeks with my next update. I hope you've enjoyed the piece, but I'm definitely open to suggestions on content and I'd love to hear what you'd like to hear more about. So if you want me to talk more about something specific visit The official Nash Tackle page on Facebook and leave me a message! http://www.facebook.com/#!/OfficialNashTackle

Alan Blair