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  1. Winding down - angling as one gets older and frailer. Having caught shark, marlin, and sturgeon over 300 lb, and several hundred species from places as diverse as the Amazon Basin, the Australian outback, the Southern Ocean, the Caribbean coral flats and the streams of the American Divide. It is with some disbelief that I find age, muscle weakness and increasingly severe angina drastically limiting where I can fish. I have always loved catching wild fish in wild places, which has had me fishing in all seven oceans, and six of the seven continents. (went to the seventh – Antarctica – bird watching, didn’t fish as ice too thick), So, my choice is either to give up fishing altogether, or re-appraise the easier club lakes, and even the despised “carp-filled mud puddles” that are the only accessible waters for someone who suffers intense chest pain (think elephant standing on chest) if required to walk more than 20 yards, to do anything in a hurry or stand up for more than three minutes. The only saving grace is that a dose of nitroglycerine ends the pain in about three to five minutes. Thus a distance of 60 yards needs three doses of nitro and three periods of five-minute rest. No good for a roving hillstream fisher ! So after thought, I made my choice, ie fishing from a chair is better than no fishing. So I have to fish only those swims I can get to – no sussing out where the fish are, no roving, no scrambling into difficult swims. But then, I am no worse off than the match fisherman who has to fish the peg he or she has drawn – so - you can only catch the fish in front of you or those you can entice into your swim. This in turn means one has to revise one’s expectations and set a realistic target. Above all remember this is not a match, so no need to hurry – fishing is a leisure sport – not an Olympic time-trial. On the plus side, I have been fishing alone since the age of seven, so have eighty years experience to draw upon, allied to which I have had the good fortune to fish with some very good anglers indeed, so I must have learnt something. My adventures henceforth might be of interest to others confined to easily accessible swims. Here are three waters I fished this last week. Norma and I decided to have a week in the campervan, visiting bird reserves, and staying at camping sites offering fishing. Norma would lead the birding trips, with me following on a hired mobility scooter. And I would lead the fishing trips, with Norma doing the netting, fish handling, and returning. Weighing and photography would be kept to a minimum. Occasional casting , loose feeding and playing a fish I can cope with. Handling any fish of two pounds upwards and getting it safely back into the water has me reaching for the nitro, so I am fortunate that Norma can take that on, and it gives me a short rest after playing a fish to the net. NB All venues had similar rules, No bread, No floating baits, No braid, No barbs, No microbarbs No baiting with boilies. So – Venue 1 Swim 20 yards from the campervan. Flat grassy bank, water surface one foot below the bank and one foot deep tight against the bank. Even slope outwards - the depth at a rod length out was 3 ft, A narrow fringe of Norfolk reed with an eight foot gap and a bottom of fine gravel with a little silt comprised my swim. The plummet told me that further from the shore the silt became thicker. What was out there ? Keeping my hands low, I flicked 3 or 4 maggots into the swim, and kept doing that until small rudd and small perch began to assemble, then switched to sweet corn (no result) then small Spam cubes which brought better rudd and some small carp. Persistent loose feeding for about fifteen minutes brought nothing bigger than half-pound rudd and two pound carp. Observation of other anglers showed similar fish being caught from other swims. Having assessed the swim, time to fish. Set my targets, 2lb carp, half-pound rudd, and see how close to the bank I could hook a carp. Tried several baits, maggot, dendrobena worms, Spam, sweet corn, Caught on all of them, except sweet corn (not a bite, neither on its own nor in combination with other baits) Most baits free-lined with perhaps a BB shot to provide casting weight. To stop dendys from wriggling off a barbless hook (or being sucked off) a soft pellet was used Result. Lots of small perch, medium sized rudd to half a pound, about a score of carp all between ¾ and 3 lb. Nearest to bank, (a carp) half an inch ! Comment – Won’t fish there again, just too easy. Could have caught many more if prepared to hurry, but as stated before, that’s not my style. Venue 2 Swim about 30 yds from van, ground level, so did it in one hop. A small pool about 80 yds by 30 yds, the owner said it held lots of carp (true). some bream, (unconfirmed) with “the biggest carp over 20 lb” (taken with a pinch of salt – you can safely divide most owner’s estimates by a factor of three) About four feet deep close to the bank with the water about 3 feet down a near-vertical bank, little vegetation on bank. Bottom very silty. There was a howling Easterly that day and a bright sun, no cloud.. “When the East wind blows and the sun shines bright, Then don’t expect the fish to bite” A bad omen, but I heeded the other one “”Carp follow the wind, and the stronger the wind, the more strongly they follow it” So I elected to fish into the teeth of the gale. The swim was not the nearest to the van, so that was one principle out the window. Sat well back from the water, flicked a few Spam chunks in and cautiously peeped over. There was a rugby scrum of carp after the slowly sinking Spam pieces. All from about two pounds to around 8 , Now one thing I have learnt is that carp become fearless (or maybe just careless) in choppy water so I elected to fish tightline, just a hook in a lump of Spam dangled into the choppy waves. The fish fought to get at the bait – very often all one could see were seven or eight round open mouths all seeking the same chunk of Spam and shouldering the other carp out of the way. I did my best to keep the bait away from the smaller fish and keep it available for anything that looked to be over 7. I only partially succeeded, as out of 15 carp landed, 12 looked about 6 lb or less, 3 of greater weight.. Norma weighed the biggest – just over eight.pound. Retired for an early tea. Comment There were people up the other end catching two pounders,as fast as they could pull them in - the place was absolutely stuffed with carp. “Shooting fish in a barrel” came to mind. Venue 3 This swim was “difficult” as it was 70 yards from the van, and uphill all the way. Two stops for nitro and the second needed a big dose and a fifteen minute rest. The East wind had gone and it was a hot sunny day. There was an island in the lake and breeching carp by it, but only fishable from some steep swims on the opposite bank. Too far away, too unfriendly, so elected to fish the nearest swim , Steep, but some negotiable steps down to it. This was a bit like venue 1 – but a far thicker fringe of Norfolk reed, The channel leading into the lake was therefore twice as long, about 20 ft, This channel was 6 inches deep at the bankside and about 2 ft where it met the main lake. Fishing through the gap into the lake produced rudd to half a pound up in the water, and nothing at all on the bottom. So I elected to bait up the outer part of the channel – it was fairly clear water and I could see there was nothing there, but I hoped to entice something in. A liberal dose of groundbait was laid down in the outer LH corner of the channel with plenty of Spam chunks and halibut pellets (the maggots and dendrobenas were long gone) The afternoon wore on, still no action, the sun sank, and in the early dusk came the action I was hoping for. Carp patrol the margins at such a time, looking for the discarded bait that departing anglers leave behind. One was in the channel ! We waited motionless whilst it mopped up every piece of Spam, before picking up the hookbait and shooting into the LH reedbed. Lets say it tried to shoot into the reeds, for by now I was holding it rather harder than my 6 lb Maxima justified. Good old Maxima – tough as old boots. A bit more stick and the carp decided to try the RH reedbed instead, only to find itself hitting the back of the net wielded by the expert netswoman who I was wise enough to marry. Result was a very angry carp thrashing about in the net, but fortunately the hook came free easily, the net handle was unscrewed, and the carp weighed (8lb) and returned, still thrashing angrily. That experience was a bit more worthwhile, I felt I worked for and deserved that fish. Comment After two somewhat disappointing results, it was nice to feel that with advancing years a bit of experience and watercraft has been accumulated over a lifetime and to a small extent can compensate for the handicap of reduced mobility. Watch this space.
    6 points
  2. Extract from Tony Blair's book! 'I had regularly started jogging out of Downing Street . On each run I happened to jog past a hooker (prostitute) standing on the same street corner, day after day. With some apprehension I would brace myself as I approached her for what was most certainly to follow. "Fifty Pounds!" she would shout from the kerb. "No way, 50 pence!" I fired back. This ritual between myself and the hooker continued for days. I'd run by and she'd yell, "Fifty Pounds!" And I'd yell back "50 pence!" One day, however, my wife Cherie decided that she wanted to accompany me on my jog. As we jogged nearer the problematic street corner, I realised the "pro" would bark her £50 offer and Cherie would wonder what I had really been doing on all my past outings. I realised I'd need to have a damn good explanation for my illustrious lawyer wife. As we jogged into the turn that would take us past the corner, I became even more apprehensive than usual. Sure enough, there was the hooker. I tried to avoid the prostitute's eyes as she watched the pair of us jog past. Then, from the pavement, the hooker yelled, "See what you get for 50 pence?!!"
    5 points
  3. I was naked when I met the postman at the front door this morning. I don't know what surprised him most, that I was naked, or that I knew where he lived. I've been told that a good way of letting go of your anger towards other people is to write letters to those you hate and then burn them. I've done that, but do I have to keep the letters? After finding 5 Mars, 3 Snickers, a Galaxy and a Twix in this Celebrations box, I'm starting to think I'm not cut out to be a Bounty hunter. Boss: "This is the third time you have been late for work this week. You know what this means, don't you? Me : "It's Wednesday?" Have you been hit with a rhythm stick? You may be entitled to personal Ian Dury compensation. I just got kicked out of a Flat Earth Facebook group.... I asked if the 2.0m social distancing had pushed anyone over the edge yet. I went for a vasectomy yesterday because my wife and I decided we didn’t want to have kids. It was unsuccessful though - when I got home, they were still there. I've been using Google to search for, 'lost medieval servant boy', but all I get is, 'Page not Found'. I had to go back to the Doctor today. I said, "I applied the haemorrhoid cream that you gave me yesterday and I got a very nasty reaction." "Where did you apply it?", he asked. I said, "On the bus." Earlier today I was at our local library and asked the librarian if they had a book about Pavlov's dog and Schrodinger's cat. The librarian said it rang a bell, but wasn't sure if it was there or not.
    5 points
  4. Well, I'm glad nobody has written my obituary! Thanks for all the kind remarks - especially about the book. I reconnected yesterday - see Tiggers thread 're a few hours out. Still fishing in my 87th year, albeit just small still waters due to ever increasing angina problems.
    5 points
  5. The Prime Minister has announced that due to the Indian covid variant people will be offered the Pun jab. People must take the Indian variant seriously. My neighbour caught it and has been in a korma for a week and he'd only just buried his naan.
    4 points
  6. That took me a while.
    4 points
  7. Better was on a State visit to Oz PP was informed he would have to answer the same questions at border control everyone else does, PP was quite happy to oblige. When the Border Official asked “Have you any criminal convictions?” He replied “Sorry I don’t, I didn’t realise you still needed them to come here!”
    4 points
  8. Trumpy at Andrews giving his last speech as President, how many people would have predicted that five years ago. He still seems to be casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election despite so many people, not just in his own Country but others including the U.K. telling him to accept the Democratic vote and move on. Only in the USA some say, thank goodness would never happen here. Can anybody imagine having a democratic vote in this Country and a huge chunk of the minority not accepting the result and continuing to contest it and argue about it four years later?
    4 points
  9. An Australian Army Recruit sends home a letter to the family. Dear Mum & Dad, I am well, hope youse are too? Tell me big brothers Doug and Phil that the Army is better than workin’ on the farm - tell them to get in quick smart before the jobs are all gone! I wuz a bit slow in settling down at first, because ya don’t hafta get outta bed until 6am. But I like sleeping in now, cuz all ya gotta do before brekky is make ya bed and shine ya boots and clean ya uniform. No cows to milk, no calves to feed, no feed to stack - nothin’!! Ya haz gotta shower though, but its not so bad, coz there’s lotsa hot water and even a light to see what ya doing! At brekky ya get cereal, fruit and eggs but there’s no kangaroo steaks or possum stew like wot Mum makes. You don’t get fed again until noon and by that time all the city boys are dead because we’ve been on a ’route march’ - geez its only just like walking to the windmill in the back paddock!! This one will kill me brothers Doug and Phil with laughter. I keep getting medals for shootin’ - dunno why. The bullseye is as big as a possum’s bum and it don’t move and it’s not firing back at ya like the Johnsons did when our big scrubber bull got into their prize cows before the Ekka last year! All ya gotta do is make yourself comfortable and hit the target! You don’t even load your own cartridges, they comes in little boxes, and ya don’t have to steady yourself against the rollbar of the roo shooting truck when you reload! Sometimes ya gotta wrestle with the city boys and I gotta be real careful coz they break easy - it’s not like fighting with Doug and Phil and Jack and Boori and Steve and Muzza all at once like we do at home after the muster. Turns out I’m not a bad boxer either and it looks like I’m the best the platoon’s got, and I’ve only been beaten by this one bloke from the Engineers - he’s 6 foot 5 and 15 stone and three pick handles across the shoulders and as ya know I’m only 5 foot 7 and eight stone wringin’ wet, but I fought him till the other blokes carried me off to the boozer. I can’t complain about the Army - tell the boys to get in quick before word gets around how good it is. Your loving daughter, Sheila.
    4 points
  10. Except in a river or stream Regarding the information about the wind i have come to realise Millenials dont have a sense of consequence, you see them on youtube falling foul of obvious pitfalls any 'normal' adult will predict so everything has to be explained and most likely every time it's published because when you live on a phone there is no need to remember anything, its a wonder some remember to breathe !
    4 points
  11. All, One day, Little Johnny saw his grandpa smoking his cigarettes. Little Johnny asked, “Grandpa, can I smoke some of your cigarettes?” His grandpa replied, “Can your pen!s reach your a$shole?” “No”, said Little Johnny. His grandpa replied, “Then you’re not old enough.” The next day, Little Johnny saw his grandpa drinking beer. He asked, “Grandpa, can I drink some of your beer?” His grandpa replied, “Can your pen!s reach your a$shole?” “No” said Little Johhny. “Then you’re not old enough.” his grandpa replied. The next day, Little Johnny was eating cookies. His grandpa asked, “Can I have some of your cookies?” Little Johnny replied, “Can your pen!s reach your as$shole?” His grandpa replied, “It most certainly can!” Little Johnny replied, “Then go f*ck yourself. These are my cookies!”
    4 points
  12. 16/08 a couple of weeks ago obliterating my PB caught 3 Chub. And this one on the same boilie lol
    4 points
  13. all, When one door closes and another door opens, you are probably in prison. * * * * * * * * * * * * To me, "drink responsibly" means don't spill it. * * * * * * * * * * * * Age 60 might be the new 40, but 9:00 pm is the new midnight. * * * * * * * * * * * * When I say, "The other day," I could be referring to any time between yesterday and 15 years ago. * * * * * * * * * * * * I remember being able to get up without making sound effects. * * * * * * * * * * * * I had my patience tested. I'm negative. * * * * * * * * * * * * Remember, if you lose a sock in the dryer, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn't fit any of your containers. * * * * * * * * * * * * If you're sitting in public and a stranger takes the seat next to you, just stare straight ahead and say, "Did you bring the money?" * * * * * * * * * * * * When you ask me what I am doing today, and I say "nothing," it does not mean I am free. It means I am doing nothing. * * * * * * * * * * * * I finally got eight hours of sleep. It took me three days, but whatever. * * * * * * * * * * * * I run like the winded. * * * * * * * * * * * * I hate when a couple argues in public, and I missed the beginning and don't know whose side I'm on. * * * * * * * * * * * * When someone asks what I did over the weekend, I squint and ask, "Why, what did you hear?" * * * * * * * * * * * * When you do squats, are your knees supposed to sound like a goat chewing on an aluminum can stuffed with celery? * * * * * * * * * * * * I don't mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things and get really excited. * * * * * * * * * * * * When I ask for directions, please don't use words like "east." * * * * * * * * * * * * Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Spend 30 seconds in my head. That'll freak you right out. * * * * * * * * * * * * My luck is like a bald guy who just won a comb. Phone pinched from FB
    4 points
  14. Re lift bites. Those of you who fish close in (I mean REALLY close - within three inches of marginal reeds/bulrush/reedmace/flags etc) have a good chance of glimpsing the real cause of the "lift" Tench feed on tiny snails and other invertebrates that feed on marginal vegetation. These invertebrates lie concealed in the mud when not feeding and crawl up the stems of the marginal plants to feed. (Think of the way slugs, snails, some caterpillars and beetle grubs do the same thing to your lettuces, cabbages. dahlias and petunias etc.) The tench come along and pick the inverts off the stems (that's why careful observation will show flags, reeds etc "shaking" for reasons other than wind. If Mr Tench is still hungry, then he goes after the inverts lying concealed in the mud close to their food plant. Head down, the tench appears to "bounce" on its head. I've seen a group of tench keep this up for at least half an hour, without going horizontal If, like me, most of your tench fishing is done on old estate lakes on clay (Wealden Clay in my case) then all you will see in the murky water is a tench tail that arises then disappears. If you get the opportunity to fish a clear water gravel pit then you will see the full monty. Tench, head down, each behaving like something on a slow-motion pogo stick. Once you have seen it, you understand the full extent of the lift, and also why you get so many line-bites Choose a long thin float, (I use a porcupine quill) get your shotting right (see other's advice above), keep quiet and still, use worm. meat or maggot, and you should be in business
    3 points
  15. Blackbird I prefer to fish the smaller rivers and streams, and I’m fairly lucky in that the small and often crystal clear chalk streams and rivers which I fish have a large population of Barbel of all sizes up to mid doubles; and also hold quite a lot of decent sized Chub, Roach, Dace and perch; (contrary to a lot of anglers ideas of small streams and what they hold). NB: You can see one of these small streams/rivers behind me in my avatar. In these small streams and rivers I only go up to 10lb line when I’m fishing in floodwaters and I am usually only using 8lb line and sometimes 6lb line in low water conditions, although like a few good lines they are often a slightly higher breaking strain than they advertise. If I’m trotting on the pin I usually use either 5lb or 6lb line, and the late Keith Speer (who also used to fish on these small streams & rivers before he died) occasionally used to use even finer lines when he trotted for his Barbel. When Im trundling or legering Im usually using an original 1.7lb Greys Prodigy SX Barbel rod (made before they went over to being made in China) or a 1.5lb version of this same rod; and in flood conditions I will sometimes move up to a 1.5lb/2lb Greys Multi-tip rod (with the 2lb tip section fitted). When Im trotting a float for beards and Chub I use either my 12ft Drennan Tench Float rod (MkIV) or a Hardy Marksman specimen Float rod. Tight lines Keith
    3 points
  16. A bit rich coming from a bloke who has rejected the democratically expressed will of the British people on a daily basis for the last five years.
    3 points
  17. A woman in her forties went to a plastic surgeon for a face-lift. The surgeon told her about a new procedure called "The KEY," Where a small key is placed on the back of a woman's head and can be turned to tighten up her skin to produce the effect of a brand new face lift. Of course, the woman wanted "The Key." Over the course of the years, the woman tightened the key and the effects were wonderful --The woman remained young looking and vibrant. After fifteen years, the woman returned to the surgeon with two problems. "All these years, everything has been working just fine. I've had to turn the key and I've always loved the results. But now I've developed two annoying problems - First, I have these terrible bags under my eyes and the key won't get rid of them." The doctor looked at her closely and said. "Those aren't bags, those are your breasts." She said. "No point asking about the beard then!"
    3 points
  18. I second that. re crucians. I don't think it matters much what set-up you use as long as it is sensitive , I use tiny peacock quills (Elton sent me a bunch years ago) attached by cycle valve rubber top and bottom, dust shot close to hook, weighted so about eighth of an inch float showing - that will show a lift or a "gozunda" bite equally well. I discovered early in life that crucians will hold the bait in their mouths without moving any part of the rig (so when you lift out to check the bait -surprise surprise, there's a crucian on!) So it pays to give a gentle strike every few minutes - where I used to fish you got a few extra crucians that way. Best bait for me were tiny red worms, but most baits will catch.. If you have any influence on fishery management - please discourage stocking of ANY form of goldfish - brown, wild, fantailed, longtailed, gold, silver or what have you, in your crucian water or the purity of your crucian stock will be compromised
    3 points
  19. An end to the flat Earth argument.
    3 points
  20. If you've got it, I hope it just runs its course like mine did with no complications. Mine was about 6 days of a cold, four days of flu and now its down to a few residual aches and pains. Get well soon.
    3 points
  21. this is the view you get of victoria bridge when fishing the severn on the birmingham anglers stretch at arley. great day out on the severn valley railway
    3 points
  22. Good program on BBC2 today Chesters, ‘Cornwall, this fishing life,’ I’ve been watching this series along with the earlier one for sometime because it is an academic documentary on small fishing communities over time over seen by The Open University. From the previous year I have formed my own opinion that it is without political bias. Tonight’s episode centred around Newquay as the restrictions placed on the town and fishing fleet by BREXIT start to take a toll. Several of the boats, they are huge great boats, some I would estimate perhaps 6 to 8 metres long and are often so large that one bloke cannot always operate them alone, luckily for one chap his son’s school has been closed due to BREXIT so he has had him to help. The help was just at the right time, due to BREXIT the wholesaler he usually sold all his catch to had closed. Sat there on his boat just after he had spent hours resisting the urge to blame Boris by posting on social media and moaning about the Govt., whilst claiming all the benefits he can, he had a thought, picking up a lobster and saying that he would normally get £7 for it from the wholesaler (did I mention the wholesaler had closed because of BREXIT) and by the time it was served up on a table here or in the EU a further £25 could be added to the price of that shellfish. “I want a bit of that extra £25 he says. Unfortunately, due to BREXIT a lot of restaurants in his area had also closed but he sells his prime lobsters to a few locals and visitors and within a short while he is selling out everyday because people are telling their mates about his lobsters. Later in the programme he is catching crab and realises he only gets a few quid per kilo selling them to the wholesaler who has shut down due to BREXIT. But if he picks the meat he can sell it locally for £40 per kilo, in comes wifey, mum etc and they are off. Another guy on there, he is an ex Royal Navy Officer, to clarify he has served in the Navy and accepted to Officer training which, obviously he passed and therefore is awarded The Queen’s Commission meaning he is an Officer, his Grandfather, his Father and his Father before him had served in the Royal Navy. It was plain to see the pride in his eyes when he spoke of his grandson “making it as an Officer” I wonder how the guy would feel if he knew these days it is apparently commonplace to refer to someone as an Officer as soon as the paint is dry on their footlocker. Grandad finished Commercial fishing last year at the age of 92! Anyway Chesters, if you get a chance watch it on iPlayer. Sorry Phone yet again you miss opportunity because of some tea! Lots on there showing the survival instinct and reacting to the changes BREXIT is bringing. EDIT; Just read through this before posting and I’ve made a silly mistake, I can’t be bothered to go back and correct it all but please where I have written “BREXIT” please substitute “CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC”
    3 points
  23. Caught plenty from the Thames using small sections of Sardine ,Mackeral but esp Lamprey sections Helps if you prevail with fish chunks for a while first i had a monster on bread today jyst over 8 plus a 6/05 yesterday will see if I can get a video to load on the few hours out today
    3 points
  24. Pffft! Not for me. "The Horse"
    3 points
  25. You've spent the last five years telling us there are heaps of fish to be caught. Make up your mind.
    3 points
  26. I actually bought AT today, AM had sold out, miserly thin offering for £2.30, tempted by 'roach' on the front cover, well over a year since I last bought AT. I really don't know why I bothered. This afternoon I also picked up a hardly read copy of John Watson's A Pikers Progress for a mere fiver, now that is value, especially when compared with AT! Was a time that a daily visit to WH Smith was a must, now it's the book shelves in my local charity shops!
    3 points
  27. I've met him ! A minor club official with delusions of grandeur. Didn't have any I.D. on him but demanded to see my club card and licence. I told him to go climb a tree. Re the salties... The only other occasion where wildlife stopped me fishing was on the Oykel Fly fishing for Salmon , wading a rapid, above a deep pool, and was attacked by midges. I was not being bitten much, but two eyes full of midges meant I couldn.t see - in a fast current in midstream. Chucking handfuls of river water into my eyes was all I could do and the midges came back as soon as I stopped the irrigation. Was damn glad to get out of the water
    3 points
  28. Show off! I had a close call with a toad once
    3 points
  29. I would have preffered if she asked if i wanted some Bush
    3 points
  30. strangest thing? Returning from Chicago this morning the hostess ask me if "I wanted some headphones"? - I said yes OF COURSE- - but how did you know my name was PHONE pHONE
    3 points
  31. Watercraft has many guises Keith
    3 points
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