Sunday 26 June 2022

Midsummer Mullet

We were going to try for bass yesterday, it being a late evening high tide. The strong SW wind would have made it uncomfortable though, so I took the lazy option and walked 10 minutes down to the mullet spot.

My mate Bazza had a few this morning so I was hopeful that we had a good chance.

Cocksy and  his daughter were already there catching micro bass and tiny mullet. The pool looked devoid of anything sizeable, no swirls or bow waves.

I sat in the sun watching and let them all get on with it.

After about half an hour Ga Ga hooked in to a decent mullet on the spinner, totally out of the blue in previously lifeless water. Unfortunately it dropped off at the net but a good sign. She kept plugging away and a while later the same thing happened, this one eventually netted after a decent scrap.

I was waiting for the first push of the tide which normally sees lots of fish appear at this spot. But not tonight, just the occasional fish and that was it. Unpredictable sods. Plenty of small stuff though.

Cocksy did have a nice flounder, unusual to see a decent one here these days unfortunately. Hopefully a sign of things to come.

I had a few casts before walking up to the bridge to admire the sunset.

A lovely evening.

Ruffe Luck

"Pay attention to small things. The rewards are inversely proportional "

Liz Vassey

"Mirrored in ponds and seen through gates. Sweet uneventful countryside"

John Betjeman on Essex

Well I agree with Liz but think the Boy Betjeman damns my part of Essex with faint praise.

This week I had a recce in the Fens. Now that is a weird place. Not in an entirely bad way.

The first bit of water visited was deep, deep into banjo country. Lovely quiet lanes, no traffic hum and a deserted waterside. Unfortunately there were multiple No Fishing signs in every possible language.

I checked out a well known rudd river, got very hot, bitten by insects and was driven insane by swans. I hate them. No rudd were caught. 

Back home on another tiny beautiful stream I spent hours watching fish, hoping to spot a bullhead or stone loach. None seen unfortunately, but lots of gudgeon, minnows, chublets and dace.

This morning I had a close encounter with a short tailed field vole, how I managed to creep up on him without scaring him I don't know. I was touching distance away. Tiny little thing about two inches long.

Oh, almost forgot. I didn't catch a Stour ruffe either. Patience dear boy, patience.

Tuesday 21 June 2022


Yes, again.

Yesterday I explored a beautiful little stream, deep in the countryside, surrounded by willows.

It's about four to six foot wide and varies in depth from a couple to maybe eighteen inches.

If you look, really, really look, you'll see tiny fish moving back and forth. I was after more species for the "Stour Species Hunt". Not surprisingly the banks were overgrown and could only be approached with chest waders to protect you from the stingers and brambles.

First chuck in with my six foot five gram rod and super simple rig of a bb shot two inches from the hook and I had a little dace, quickly followed by a chublet.

New swim and a rattly bite and yes, a lovely gudgeon. Pristine condition and next drop in another. Then a minnow. Wahooooo ! Two more for the list which now totals twenty five on the Stour this year.

On to another sidestream and yet more gudgeon. I was "caught" by a couple of people crawling on hands and knees along the stream, rod in hand. Oooh matron !
 I then had a go in the main river and immediately had half a dozen quite decent perch and a micro pike...on a size 22 hook and quarter inch of redworm.

I moved to a pre baited swim which was still full of canoes and paddle boarders, but by about 20.00 they all seemed to have disappeared and it was a beautiful still, silent evening....until, in the distance I heard a group of them shouting and hollering, getting louder as they got nearer. 

To be fair ( Brian ), they slowed down a bit as the passed me, still making a racket and as the third paddle board went by, inches from my float, it lay flat and went under. I fully expected to be attached to the paddle board but no, a roach x bream hybrid of about a pound had took the bait at the exact moment that these Herberts had ploughed through the gin clear swim. To say I was shocked is an understatement.

That was the last bite of the day and I went home having caught minnows, gudgeon, roach, perch, dace, chub, pike and that hybrid. Not bad eh ?

Midsummer day today. And don't even think about saying it Waaaaak.

Friday 17 June 2022

The Best Laid Plans...

"Hell is other people"

Jean Paul Sartre

Too bloody true. The Glorious 16 th didn't really turn out that way. 

Indulge me for a while with my first world moans.

I'd prebaited three swims for a couple of weeks, "just to see what's there". My camper had a check over on the 15th and it was meant to take just a couple of hours.

It didn't and I had to leave it in overnight.....along with most of my fishing gear. So no early start for me.

Morning of the 16 th I had a walk without gear, to bait swims for the evening and would you believe it, the only angler on the whole stretch had set up in my preferred swim. Bastard !

Never mind, I still have the back up swims.

In the evening I returned with my gear about 19.30 ish to find paddle boarders, canoes and swimmers everywhere. Everywhere.

I tackled up and decided to wait for it to quieten down. Bit of bait in and a couple of swimmers came and stood chatting about a yard away from my float. Sometimes there are no words. Then there ever so cute dog shook itself and soaked me with several gallons of the Stour. Excellent.

After this they all seemed to clear off and there was a bit of activity in the swim, some reasonable fish too. First bite resulted in a good roach, then a small chub

After this I started getting liners, a good sign and in a short while the float slid away and a proper sized river bream deposited oodles of stinking snot on my landing net. I was pleased, haven't caught one from the river for ages.

Strangely at dusk all went quiet and no further bites developed.

I popped down for a very quick session the following morning for a go in the other spot and feck me, the bloke was still there fishing. Hope he blanked 😆

There were the usual year round lure anglers thrashing the water, couple in a boat, one on the bank. Any chance of a bit of peace in this bloody country ?

I managed to winkle out another good bream before quickly becoming bored and was back home by 06.00.

I'll have another go next week.


Monday 13 June 2022

Plans and Earworms

The latest plan. I've borrowed an inflatable paddle board and this is going to help me catch lots of bass.

I do wonder why nobody else seems to fish off them though and very soon I'll find out. I've been down the kayak route and just didn't like all the faffing about and no matter what anyone says there is lots of messing about. Too much for me anyway.

There's a 50-50 chance I'll like it and will be successful. Alternatively, I'll sack it off and it will never be spoken of again.

I took my Saturday group run around Old Harwich, a fantastic coastal route followed by an absolutely top class breakfast. French stick with all the trimmings i.e fried onions, black pepper, brown sauce......and sausage, egg, bacon and cheese too obviously. All this in warmth and glorious sunshine too.

While we eating I dicked about with my 5 gram, 6 foot drop shot rod and had four rock gobies. That's multi tasking for you. Or opportunism if you like. Or being a hungry bastard. 

Earworms. I have three at the moment. The choice of earworm is not within your control. Whether you like, dislike or even loathe the song has bearing on selection by the head gremlins.

Earworm 1.  Nick Cave - Nature Boy

Luckily I love this song, so no issues there. 

Earworm 2. Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing

Decent enough tune, but why has it chosen me ? And why do I change a few words when singing to make the song sound ridiculous ?

Earworm 3. 2 Unlimited - No Limits

This has been in my pea brain for fecking months, maybe years and I fecking hate it. In the shower I'm singing the poxy song, whilst remembering Alan Partridge shouting "Techno ! Techno ! Techno !" from the sidelines.

I'm not making this up. Tell me I'm not alone. Please.

In other news I'm going fishing this evening.

Thursday 9 June 2022

Species Hunt....With a Twist

TV Priest anyone ? They've listened to the Fall quite a bit which is obviously a good thing. And while we're on music, The Bug Club, my new favourite band, courtesy of Marc Riley's R6  evening show.

The species hunt ? I'm doing the normal how-many-species-can-you-catch-anywhere ( shore only...boat is cheating isn't it ? ) but in addition I'm seeing how many I can catch from the Suffolk Stour. For the sake of the hunt the Stour ends at Harwich-Shotley, so a combination of freshwater and salt.

I've had three new 2022 species in the past couple of days, a little ballan wrasse yesterday and a three spined stickleback and sand goby today.

The ballan is a bit of a bonus as almost all the wrasse I've had locally have been corkwings.

Nodding about today in the sunshine along the tidal Stour I crawled up to the brackish dyke, connected to the main river by a sluice and peered in to the almost crystal clear water.

Yep. Little sticklebacks. At first they ignored the spec of ragworm on my size 22 hook. I jiggled the bait in front of them and three or four rushed in to sieze the worm

Yes ! A tiny fish with a bright red chest. Another one in the bag.

It took me a while to find the sand gobies, they're so well camouflaged and.....well, fecking small. I lowered the pin head sized bait down by the sluice and though I couldn't see the fish, the bait disappeared from view.

A very fat, quite big sand goby sat awaiting a photo on the unhooking mat. Well, on the steps actually.

I'm well aware that catch little fish is quite ridiculous but, again, I'll quote Steve Peters.
"Everything is as important or as unimportant as you choose to make it"
Anyway, in my book washing the car or doing DIY are far more ludicrous activities. Each to their own eh ?

I reckon I'll do thirty or more species from the Stour this year. Maybe more.

'Ave it.

I realise 

Tuesday 7 June 2022

A Day In The Life

Best Beatles song I reckon. Especially when Neil Young plays it live.

Living the life of a Lotus Eater at the moment, although hopefully I can avoid the same demise. A book worth reading.

I left the house at 07.30 this morning for a quick walk along the river. Five hours later I arrived back.

It was a gloriously warm sunny day and as I walked along the tidal stretch, now overgrown in parts with stingers, blackthorn and fat hen. On the big bend the mullet were cruising aimlessly in the sun, big ones, small ones, some as big, etc.

On to the freshwater section and loads of roach of all sizes up to maybe three quarters of a pound, plus chub and what looked like very small gudgeon on the shallow gravels.

Not every swim had fish but enough to make me think the river is in good nick. The bottom was a mixture of cabbages, silt and gravel, not too much of that horrible clogging blanket weed yet. There were more water snails than I've ever seen in my life and plenty of dragonflies and damselflies. Bloody boooootiful.

I've just started to bait a few spots to see what lies beneath in these two very lightly fished sections. I'm not expecting big bags or big fish but am quite excited to see what the summer river contains these days.

I saw plenty of decent roach over one of the pre baited swims and all the seed had gone so something is eating it. Adjacent to my swim is a field full of buttercups and ox eye daisys, an amazing sight.

I spoke to an old boy who walks his dog alongside the river every day and asked him if he sees any fish. For a very refreshing change we didn't have the usual 40lb pike-carp bullshit but very interesting bits and pieces. Proper good 'ol boi.

Back home eventually, bacon sarnie, then bait digging just in time to catch a solitary mullet.

Just got to get some more seed on the soak and it'll be time for a glass of red.

A cracking day

Thursday 2 June 2022


Lovely week in north Norfolk avoiding the crowds. Camped up on a farm overlooking a meadow watching amongst other things a cuckoo, lots of buzzards and a red kite.

Had plenty of schoolie bass, flounders and dabs at various places and yesterday got invited by Lucky Bob to join him on a trip to a very remote mark.

Ga Ga came along and asked as everyone does, "Why's he called Lucky Bob?". 

You'll see.

Actually, as any decent angler knows it ain't luck.

We met down a tiny lane and proceeded on to the marshes, the ocean barely visible across a sun baked Norfolk seascape. After half hour or so we came to the creek, which had to be crossed to access the mark. We were a bit early, so waited until it emptied a bit. Another ten minutes and we were there.

For a chunky short arse, LB moves very quickly when fish are on the menu. I was still baiting up when I heard him shout he was into a fish. And what a cracker it was, the bastard.

There were plenty of fish about, we were both catching, but LB's were keeper size and mine weren't, for the most part. Everybody who fishes with LB gets "Bobbed", it's now a word in the Oxford English dictionary. 

I was hamstrung a bit as Ga Ga insisted on casting "her" rod which resulted in that rod fishing in four inches of water fifteen yards out. Not ideal in the middle of a sunny June day. 

I also had a lesson in pumping black lug. Bloody massive leathery beasts of eight to ten inches long. Beats digging lots of little blow lug round our way and very addictive it was too.

The sun shone and we continued to catch fish until we had to beat a quick retreat as the tide flooded in. Along sweaty walk back and it was time for food and a cold drink.

What a glorious day.

Back at the camper I found that I'd accidentally bought LB's cool box and he'd got mine.

I got six stinking thawed peeler crabs and he'd got my two pristine keeper bass.

Now do you understand why he's called Lucky Bob ?