Tuesday 2 April 2024


Not really caught much of note over the last few weeks.

Saturday I arranged to meet Bully at a little tackle shop in deepest Suffolk.

I had picked up a pair of 1980s rods for Bully, made by a bloke called Terry Smith, from Sheffield. Back in the day he was one of the best and as usual Bully had managed to get a bargain.

These were early twin top rods, with lovely soft fibre glass quiver tips. Think he paid seventy five quid for the pair.

I also had quality second hand gear to pick up, firstly a pair of Fox Specialist 1lb TC rods from the late 90s/very early 2000s. 

The Chubmeister General had been raving about this rod and after I told him I tracked some down he insisted I bought them. Who was I to disobey  ? He was right. They're bloody lovely.

Then it was on to pick up two Fox Barbel Plus 1.75lb TC from the same era,  but from a different village. Oh, and a couple of Daiwa Exceler 4000s. From the same village.

They were lovely too.

They were proper bargains.

We then checked out a small farm ressie which we'd been told held some big bream, plus the mandatory carp. It was truly out in the sticks, not pretty, but very quiet, so a session was quickly arranged for the coming week. 

Talking of carp, or more accurately carpers, whilst on my morning walk yesterday I got talking to a young bloke fishing a small local lake.

He was dressed in standard carp boy gear, hoodie, cotton joggers and white trainers and excitedly told be he was sponsored by the ( carp related) clothing company. The logo was on everything, "Addicted" or "Afflicted", something like that. Oh, he said, I'm also sponsored by a bait company and thrust some brown, stinking boilies in my face.

Try 'em mate, try 'em, they're pukka, they're the bollocks, the dog's dangles, the mutts nutts, had some proper units on them I have, geeeeeezer.

Not interested in smeggy carp said I. He stared at me in a gormless uncomprehending gaze and then repeated his praise of said boilies.

I then told him what my old boss once said to me, "Don't try to sell a one legged man a pair of shoes".

He is, I am sure, still trying to get to grips with the meaning of this.

Next post I hope to have tales of big bream.

Toodle pip.

Thursday 14 March 2024


Those useless feckers at the Met Office had on Sunday told us we'd seen the last of the rain , so don't worry folks, it's going to be a dry week.

By Monday evening it was, erm, Tuesday is going to be wet. Very wet. All day. 

With the local river thoroughly messed up, I headed down to the estate lake. It's part of a carp syndicate and I was told there were "big" perch, roach, a few tench and half a dozen grass carp, along with the prized carp.

It's only five minutes from the house, so I've been having a good look round recently and  deep in a wooded valley, so protected from the worst of the wind. Its shallow, being three, possibly four foot maximum. 

I decided to select four swims, all ultra close in and uncomfortable, so ignored by the carpys and lightly bait them with mixed seed, sweetcorn and chopped worms, then fish them in rotation for twenty of thirty minutes and keep on the move.

First fish was a 1lb 11oz roach, pleasing in size but a really poor old thing, having suffered terrible cormorant damage ( yes, them again ). This was followed by a couple of pound plus perch, thankfully in nice condition.

Before every move a handful of bait was scattered and the swim left to rest. Back in the "roach" swim an hour later I hooked into a much bigger fish that turned out to be a nice early season tench of just over 4lb. 

The swim in the corner, where I'd yet to have a bite, was showing signs of activity with tiny pin head bubbles periodically showing. Nudges and dips on the float but nothing positive until it slid away and a tiny but beautiful mirror carp surfaced. 

He couldn't have been more than a couple of pounds.

More bait, more bubbles and when the sweetcorn/flake cocktail was taken a much bigger fish bolted away with a huge cloud of silt colouring the water in its wake.

I definitely didn't want to end up hooking lots of carp, but there was a chance this could be a grassie so I played it gently on the float rod and perch tackle, more worried about the B983 light gauge hook than the line.

Whatever it was didnt want to come in and my estimate of its size was increasing as time went on. I just couldn't get the head up and was thinking it might be foul hooked. Every time it neared the net it would surge away and there was no way of stopping it on light gear.

With near bank snags I wanted to get it in the net first time and after fifteen minutes or so it seemed to be tiring and with a bit more pressure a head appeared and a massively long body which somehow slid into the, now very undersized net.

A monstrous grassie, it looked huge. Hooooooge I tell you.

The first I've ever seen, let alone caught and weighing 23lb 14oz.

To using my overused expression I was well chuffed or as I believe da yoof say, "buzzin".

Now, do you think I'll be able to get on the river today , for one last try ?

Sunday 10 March 2024

On The Doorstep

Back on the local stretch of river for a couple of short sessions, the first with old mate Waaaaaak Baines, AKA Bureboi.

River in good nick. Mild, great time of year, if you can't catch in these conditions sell your gear.

Waaak turned up fully loaded, holdall, comfy chair, huge bait bucket and trudged in slow motion across the muddy, slippery ice ring that passes for a meadow.

Bites in the first few swims which turned out to be small chub. Waaaak was in a banker chub swim and sat it out, missing a few bites before nailing a nice chub which he played like he was using a 2lb hooklink. 

The fish took advantage of his light touch and snagged itself on some bankside undergrowth before being persuaded out into the net.

I settled in a the next swim and set about catching some roach.

A handful of liquidised bread brought an immediate response which resulted in a lovely  fish.

There was no problem getting bites. Hitting them was a different matter. They were homing in on the micro cage feeder but the jabs and rattles were missed more often than not.

Waaaak left on the long trek back to Norfolk and I continued getting and missing bite after bite.

After getting home a plan was hatched to come back and fish for them with a pole which would give excellent control and a better chance of hooking the roach. In theory. 

Next day I was back on the river just as the light was fading. An over spotted float was held back, slightly overdepth, with a size 14 hook with double punch bread or flake. Sounds professional doesn't it ?

Did it work ? Yes, fourteen quality roach were caught in the last hour despite my untidy and ungainly handling of the pole.

The fish in the photos were in good condition, as you can see. Unfortunately, many others were showing signs of cormorant damage. I love wildlife but hate these birds. Fecking things.

Great couple of trips and always good to fish and catch up with an old mate. I'm hoping for a few more sessions before the season draws to a close.

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Every Last Drop....

With the end of the season rapidly approaching and the local rivers, finally, after months of semi permanent flooding, coming in to prime condition, I've been out fishing. Alot.

Work has been sacked off all week. When it's ten or eleven degrees and the water has that lovely bottle green tinge then I'm going fishing. I'm never going to be rich with that attitude am I ?

Yesterday I fished a stretch where I had big chub and one nice perch last time. It's a deep, slow piece of water with a big concrete structure of some kind in mid stream. It screams out fish.

First chuck in with lobs and the tip went round. A perch, a very nice one in cracking condition.  I had five out the swim, the best three being 1lb 15oz, 2lb 2oz and 2lb 6oz. That'll do.

I moved upstream a bit and again the lobs did the trick with a clonking chub. A young fish in pristine condition with an unusually small head.

Bully Boy turned up and fished a slow snaggy swim just down from me and got in on the action with two corkers of 2lb 2oz and 2lb 4oz.

We were both well chuffed and with good weather forecast and a massive hunger to fish I'm looking forward to another trip today. And tomorrow.

Seize the day folks.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

The Sweet Smell of Success

It's fair to say that apart from two lovely sessions trotting for dace, 2024 has so far been a bit crap as far as fishing goes. 

The Chubmeister General and a couple of his friends have been quietly catching chub on the upper reaches that dwarf the two to three pound fish that we usually get on the lower river. 

In addition to that, the lower river has been in semi permanent flood since mid October last year. The upper, as you'd expect, runs off quicker and conditions are often perfect while further downstream they're hopeless.

Yesterday I sacked work off early and headed deep in to Suffolk, to the upper reaches in search of a big chub. When I arrived, before getting the gear out, I looked over the bridge and checked out the river.

It looked perfect and I hurried off to the first swim, a classic holding area with near bank snag and a nice crease.  After nabbing a three pounder on lobworms I had a recce upstream before returning to the same swim.

After ten minutes the newly purchased (twenty five year old) Drennan Super Feeder quiver trembled, I struck and all hell let loose, as a very heavy fish crashed about heading for the near bank reeds. Dont they always ?

I was thankful for the 8lb line and had the clutch done right up, as I expected this reaction and the last thing I wanted was to give any ground. In no more than about twenty seconds the chub was in the net. I gazed down at it as it lay in the water, it looked massive compared to the three pounder caught earlier. 

I know that "fish on the net" photos are a bit boring and rarely do the fish justice, but I just can't be bothered with self takes any more. Anyway, it just reminds me what a ruddy faced, scruffy old bloke I look.

It went 5lb 4oz and I was chuffed to say the least.

Several other areas were fished without further action but I was almost certain I'd get another fish. Settling into a pre baited swim a flake/cheese paste combo was flicked out with a single swan shot.

Another slow, confident bite and after striking the rod hooped right round as I brutally tried to keep the fish from the snags.

Again, it was in the net in a few seconds and it looked massive.

After repeating "Oh my god, that's fecking huge" about twenty times I recovered some kind of sanity and put the chub on the scales. They hovered just under the 6lb mark and I settled on 5lb 15oz. 

It really isn't about what the scales say though is it ? It's that feeling, when the fish looks so big or its so prized, that you're shaking and reduced to a babbling wreck, like you've done every time something fantastic is caught, since you were a kid.

I drove home with that warm glow you get after a cracking day on the riverbank, endlessly replaying the days events. 

Sunday 25 February 2024

Taking A Punt

I woke up and immediately went on line to see what the latest river levels were like and although not perfect, it appeared the very upper river might be OK.

After a long, slow drive through the tiny winding Suffolk lanes I arrived and jumped out the car and looked over the bridge. It looked pretty good, up a bit but falling and with a good colour.

The legendary IM8 Specimen Float was given its umpteenth outing along with a mini chubber type float, size 16 hook and double maggot. First six runs down the swim resulted in plump dace and one monster gudgeon.  A good start.

I'll not bore you with a blow by blow account of the session but suffice to say I had sixty or seventy dace in two or three hours,  plus a few roach, chublets and gudgeon.

Three or four of the dace were real clonkers and all were in pristine condition. 

I had a recce of another stretch and then a quick go on a nice wooded bit for a roach or two. Four nice fish in half hour was the result before I got hungry and headed home.

A lovely session.

Wednesday 21 February 2024


The Loafer is The Lobmeister.

Here's what you need to know, so sit up, pay attention and by all means take notes.

1. Ideal conditions are just after it's been raining and when it's still mild. Milder the better I think. 

2. They definitely prefer short grass. Somewhere where horses or rabbits graze is good, sports pitches or a well tended garden lawn

My top spot is the local cricket pitch. There's a bowls club next door which I'm sure would be even better, but I don't think they'd appreciate me climbing over the security fence and damaging the green.

3. Don't use a torch thats too bright. They spook badly on full beam. Keep it as low as possible. 

4. Tread carefully and when you do see one, be quick and precise. You've got to be deadly, if you're too slow and slapdash they'll be away quicker than can say " Ooooh, yer bastard ! ".

5. When you do grab one, don't pull too hard, they break easily. If its still got a grip in the ground just hold it until it tires. I mean a few seconds....don't stand there for half hour ya daft sod.

6. The edge of fields, where maybe its a bit more sheltered, are often best. Even on places where there's loads of worms they'll be hotspots. Like fishing.

7. They'll be more worms and they'll be further out the holes, if you go at least a couple of hours after it's properly dark.

8. When you get home and sort them out, don't put too many together. The less the better really. Certainly no more than fifteen or twenty, absolute maximum, in a large bait box.

9. I keep them in strips of wet newspaper. Others use moss or grass.

10. For a day or two after collecting them, check them thoroughly. This is when you're likely to have a few casualties. Chuck any dead or dying worms.

11. Keep them cool. In a fridge in summer definitely, but a garage floor in winter is OK. 

I went out last night in perfect conditions and had a load. If it ever stops raining I might even get to use them. 

Get out there and get lobbing. Good luck.