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Vagabond

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Vagabond last won the day on July 22

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About Vagabond

  • Birthday 05/13/1934

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    East Sussex
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    Angling, Ichthyology

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  1. World Species 473   British Isles Species 105  English Species 95

    Certhia's World Species 218   Eclectic "Husband and Wife team"  World Species 502

     

    Only important things matter - like fresh bait and cold beer

  2. As far as I am concerned there is only one Steve W that matters - nothing remarkable about several guys having the same name - didn't Dave Gorman find scores of Dave Gormans and write a book about it ?
  3. World Species 473   British Isles Species 105  English Species 95

    Certhia's World Species 218   Eclectic "Husband and Wife team"  World Species 502

     

    Only important things matter - like fresh bait and cold beer

  4. Best check re baits also, many stretches of the Wye ban worms and maggots if there is the slightest chance of a salmon taking them. Hair-rigged pellets seem accepted most places and give you a fair chance of barbel
  5. Not his age, not his cricket score, but the number of species caught. Steve is the top man of we species hunters -his tally of 2000 makes the 502 that Norma and I have knocked up look puny. It would be easy to make excuses, like "it helps if your home base is California and you have the time and cash to travel," but these 2000 species still have to be caught - so one needs plenty of all-round angling skill and know-how. So I for one will drink a toast tonight to Steve's achievement - I hope many of you will join me. Species hunting gives you a new oerspective on angling - for instance my 95th UK species was a porbeagle shark, my 96th was a ten-spined stickleback (or perhaps t'was t'other way round) anyway, the total effort put into catching each was about equal - the macho bits of bullying a 3oo lb shark was matched by the persistence needed in locating ten-spined jacksin the maze of brackish dykes they live in and getting them to take a scrap of harbour rag (size 24 hook) before a myriab of tiny bass, perch, sand smelt, roach (yes they are all there!) beat them to it. Well done Steve !!
  6. Me too ! Not only that but some of the line I have on bulk spools was bought over thirty years ago. Provided your line is stored where it is cool, dry and dark there is no reason it should deteriorate. I cut off the last few inches of line at the end of each trip and replace the reel line once it is markedly too short (that takes years, not months) Before Maxima my "go to" freshwater line was Luron - anybody else remember that ?
  7. Here is a reel (and rod) that was very cheap, they are replicas of those I made in the 1940s. There was a war on, no tackle in the shops, and at eight years old I couldn't afford them anyway. My parents didn't believe in fishing, nor pocket money. My mates in the late nineteen nineties didn't believe it either - so I got a nine year old primary schoolboy to make the replicas under my supervision, and fish with it. Both he and I caught a lot of 4lb plus tench on them -my best was 5-6 The rod was rowan or mountain ash - the yggdrasil of Scandinavian folklore - It is the best British wood I know of for rods.
  8. 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
  9. "Once more into the breach, dear freinds......cry....HARRY, ENGLAND and ST GEORGE" King Henry V. Act III, Scene 1 From Henry V's speech before the capture of Harfleur - which preceded England's greatest away victory - the Battle of Azincourt. Perhaps the first time since then that the rallying cry is appropriate. Dunno about this George fellow, though. Any fool or knave with a horse and lance can kill a dragon. It takes real courage and much skill to tame and ride a dragon. Cf "Game of Thrones"
  10. As has been said, everything was bigger in the good old days ! My good old days were in the 1940s - Britain at war and the countryside almost unchanged since mediaeval times. I invented/discovered fishing for myself - as far as my family went I was First Angler Homemade rod, reel, and real linen thread line, all tackle home-made (read "Angling Vagabond" for details) Two things I knew nothing about were split shot and maggots. The absence of split shot was weird - if your float cocked - you had a bite ! Bait was worm or flour paste. It was not until my aunt married an angling farmer that I learnt of these innovations - my floats cocked and became more manageable and maggots were THE bait. These maggots were "farmers' maggots", bred from deceased hens, turkeys, lambs, pigeons, rats, - you name it... Big maggots, but not fat - " lean, mean and far from clean" best describes them. Ah - the good old days - almost the last thing the late Roger Standen (I recommend his book "Always Fishing") said to me was "Dave, I reckon we've had the best of it".
  11. CORRECTION Oh dear, must be getting old - although I use PEACOCK quills for many purposes, for crucians I use (and meant to write) PORCUPINE quills - sorry if I misled anyone.
  12. 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
  13. Read the caption and thought "Why doesn't he sit sideways on his bed-chair like other carp-fishers ?" I'll get me coat...
  14. Tigger sums it up "the water in front of you" Most important is the water clarity - Fish have eyes to see with, and a sense of smell to find food with when they can't see - for example on a moonless night or in intensely clouded water (eg carp puddles) Obviously in partially clouded water they may well use both senses. A secondary consequence of cloudy water is the colour intensity of the roach themselves - the cloudier the water, the more anaemic* the roach - and incidentally the more likely they are to be hybrids with rudd or bream rather than true roach. So the future holds fewer brightly coloured roach from sparkling waters, and more colourless mongrels from "commercials" and similar pools. Oh, and don't forget sound (and its partner, vibration detection) - maggots, casters, hempseed, small pellets etc will soon train roach to come up in the water to the sound of a pinch of any of those being chucked in. - and of course the sound/vibrations of other fish gobbling food from surface or rooting on the bottom will grab attention. * yes I know the dipthong letters should joined, but I have better things to do than teach my spell-checker Anglicised Greek.
  15. Met Cliff when I was looking for an illustrator (angler cartoonist with warped S.O.H required to lighten the ramblings of a compulsive Rhadamanthinic piscator) After 2 minutes I had hired him, after 3 minutes we were planning fishing trips together. We fished for mullett in Essex (his place) Sussex (my place) and later the Severn and Wye for zander, pike barbel and salmon when Cliff had retired to Hay-on-Wye. I'm so pleased Cliff fulfilled his ambition with a 12lb salmon on fly in 2019 After retiring as a teacher, Cliff took a part-time job as a promoter of angling gear. Cut short at an angling show when a customer asked if you could stand up in the company's bivvies. "Certainly!" said Cliff "Just dig a hole in the floor" ..... Alas, sales managers are by definition humourless. Farewell Cliff, Glad to have had rhe privilege of knowing you. Been a bitter March, Two of my fishing buddies gone, and just heard my former university mentor has passed away. Beginning to understand the concept of "Last man standing"
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