Jack Of All Trades

With the manic Norfolk and Brentwood shows done and out of the way the following week whizzed by and I had to put my begging face on with the Mrs in order to get the all clear for a quick Perch fishing session on the Sunday.

Luckily, I got the nod and I had just the place in mind, a local mixed fishery (Rayleigh Angling Club) called Birketts Hall. Armed with just a couple of livebait rods rigged up with small chubber floats, 8lb fluorocarbon hooklinks and a size 4 Fang Gaper Hook, I was only going to get in about 90 minutes of fishing time.
Bait choice was relatively simple for the trip and I used small Rudd livebaits that I quickly went about catching as soon as I arrived.
My plans for a big Perch were looking to be scuppered quite quickly with a succession of small Jack pike, but I’d timed the trip to fall around dusk and this proved to be the best time.

Landed a small Jack almost straightaway...

Not what I was after! A slightly bigger jack!

Two Pike
Landed two more jacks at the same time in the same net!


In fact, just as the light was fading I landed two good perch at the same time in the same pan net. I was really pleased with them both and at - 2lb 12oz and 2lb 14oz made a fine pair. Even better, I was home in the allotted time and I didn’t have to push it with the Mrs!

Fisherman with perch
As usual, just as the light was fading I landed two good perch at the same time in the same pan net. Result - 2lb 12oz and 2lb 14oz.

During the week, we took delivery of the new barrow range. In fact ALL three of the New Trax Barrow are now in stock (Metro, Evo and Cargo) and they’re already flying out the door!

Nash Barrows
Checking the last batch of barrows.

I have since been down to Hampshire with Paul Garner who runs the Peg One & Fish Frenzy brands and we spent the day fishing the River Test. This venue absolutely blows me away every time I fish it - it really is the pinnacle of being out in the fresh air. It’s 100% pure countryside, with buzzards flying about and game keepers walking the banks with shot guns and packs of retrievers. It’s a whole other world!
As for the water - its the nuts! A proper chalk stream absolutely teeming with fish of all species. We spent the day walking the banks, looking for likely looking glides, eddies and slacks and fishing a combination of a stick float or feeder with Scopex No1 flavoured maggots as my hookbait. We caught lots and lots of trout – both Sea and Rainbow. I also had some small Salmon Par and lost a couple of BIG fish - probably big trout – you just can’t stop them in the flow with light tackle!

Some of the prettiest fish I caught were some of the many small Grayling in the river. Most of them I caught running a stick float down a glide - constant feeding of maggots to get the fish competing and with a bit of skilful gliding of the float and 'holding it back' where appropriate, you can keep the bites coming thick and fast (sorry about the dodgy self takes)! As you can see from some of the pics, the scenery there really is something else and if you can find a nice spot on a bend with a deeper slack on the inside line, it’s absolutely perfect. In the end, I had three from one spot all about a pound and three quarters and they were great fun on light line and so satisfying catching them on the float. My biggest of the trip was a stunning fish of 2lb 4oz – I was over the moon with it!

Lots and lots of trout to be caught - sea and rainbow.

One of the many small Grayling I caught running a stick float down a glide.

Fishing Spot
A nice bend with a deeper slack on the inside line - perfect!

One of the better fish I had - great fun on light line and so satisfying catching them on the float.


I’ve included a couple of pics of my kit (to follow!). Travelling light and dropping onto spots stealthily - I carry a couple of rods, landing net and my backpack with bait, tackle and essentials only. No kitchen sinks!


And here’s the contents of the bait bucket. A small selection of bait - maggots flavoured with Scopex No1, plus some Whiskey dip as a flavour change option. Liquidised bread for the cage feeder and some slices for a pinch of flake on the hook.

Fishing Bait

Well, that’s me out of time again. It’s been another great couple of weeks where I’ve been able to mix so much together and enjoy every minute.
For me, variety really is the spice of life!

Alan Blair