Not A Session – But Just Some Chatting

OK, as I write this it’s the evening of Tuesday, May 28th, 12 days since I last took the rods out to the water due to the replacement of our entire bathroom as described in my last missive – and it seems like 12 years! BUT there has been some enjoyable ‘fishy’ stuff going on in the meantime which have led to new decisions and new future plans and may actually lead to getting out of a bit of a rut I’d not actually realised I was in! So new avenues – or rather a return to some of my ‘historic’ paths – could be ahead!

OK – bathroom. Has now turned from a basic demolition site with a loo sitting forlornly in a pile of old plaster in a room with bare brick walls and the bath, shower, cabinets, etc all removed lying in a skip on the front lawn into something taking a proper shape with the walls now plaster-boarded awaiting the tiler to arrive tomorrow, and the bath, shower tray and loo at least in situ although not fully plumbed in yet so there’s hopes that it may be ready by the weekend or the early part of next week as Liz’s parents fly in from Cyprus at around 0100 on Thursday 6th June. Fingers crossed!

Sunday 26th May – Liz and I visited the Barbel Society’s ‘Barbel Day’ in Telford – a few stalls of tackle there and so a few odds and ends purchased – along with 4 new books for my angling library inc Billy Lane’s ‘Float Fishing’, a celebration book produced to commemorate what would have been Dick Walker’s 100th birthday on May 28th 2018 and a meet on Redmire, also ‘Willow Fishing IV’, a book with various contributing authors with perch as the species, and, finally, the 2nd report of the ‘Predation Action Group’ who campaign to get our fisheries protected from cormorants, otters, goosanders, etc. The highlights of the day, however, were the talks given by Dr Paul Garner, John Bailey, Bob James, Phil Smith and John Costello – and these were the initiators for my new found enthusiasm for a return to some of my ‘old’ paths – basically river fishing in its entirety and barbel fishing in particular… both of which, when I have partaken, have been very much of ‘Oh its September, I better get on the river before I start my piking’ and consequently only fish for barbel 2-3 times a year. But come June, when the bathroom is complete, the parents returned home and the river season re-opened I hope to do at least 3-4 river sessions per month and probably more…. And even Liz, who has not been a great river fan (‘I lose too much tackle’) has gained a little excitement … and I’ve even ordered a batch of Korum’s River Feeders after watching Ade Kiddell’s barbel fishing on the Severn video – its my ‘home’ barbel water but I’ve really only fished the ‘Middle Severn’ apart from a couple of ‘Lower Severn’ sessions in my life but hoping to change that especially as my club has a couple of L Severn stretches which I’m hoping to visit… plus I do fish the Warks Avon for bream but our stretch of that river is not a prolific barbel water, in fact, the Barbel Society did have the stretch directly above my club’s but let it go … anyway, I love bream fishing there anyway! So, my pool fishing this coming season will be matched 1:1 with river trips I hope.

And today, I had to go into Wolves to do some shopping, and popped into a couple of charity shops on my tour around … and emerged with another two books – at £1.50 each! Both John Wilson books – ‘Coarse Fishing Method Manual’ and ‘Go Fishing Year’ – the former especially being an excellent book detailing all sorts of setups from all the stillwater float fishing methods, river float fishing, ledgering, pole, predator, etc, etc with excellent diagrams etc and this will be my bedtime read for the next few nights! :)

AND, THE BEST NEWS … Liz says I need to get from under her feet on Monday (4th June) as she starts hoovering and polishing away the dust of the bathroom refurb … so being the very good boy I am I’ll be sorting some tackle out in the meantime in order to make my disappearance useful!

Not sure of the destination for the day but at the moment its weighted very much towards the larger of my new club’s pools which is only 10 minutes from the house anyway – and is a glorious place to be even if nothing gets caught on the day. I do need to check the forecast for the day though….

Next outing after this day is unlikely to be before Thursday 20th June and thinking of the Warks Avon for that, and then the following Monday on the Severn with Liz who will be looking for her second ever barbel … the first having been a pool fish anyway. And she watched Ade’s video too!! :)

So… tight lines to all those reading and getting out there, and I will update with Monday’s session asap afterwards!

7 responses to “Not A Session – But Just Some Chatting”

  1. I like Morrison’s as I find it longer lasting – Sainsbury’s (although Liz works there) the worst – in terms of longevity of storage and on the hook. More than 2 days old, even stored cool and wrapped, I find other goes too dry to mold/pinch to hook but Morrisons is still OK around 4 days later even if opened and re-wrapped (although top slice or two might be not so good)… And I use the same bread for floater fishing too… At one time I did use to use a ‘super-life’ loaf (lasts about a week – and that for human consumption) which came in metallic-foil wrapping but not seen that for around for a few years – but does show on-site Sainsbury’s although not actually seen it on the shelves…

    Bread pudding … yep very much a thing up here in cake shops, sandwich shops (think Greggs do it), and can get from most food stalls in the local markets here.

    Do you have ‘grey paes’ (pronounced ‘pays’) down there? In younger days they’d be what you’d use in your pea shooter and called pigeon peas then (health and safety!! LOL) … boiled with ‘bercon bits’ (bacon) – – they are a Midlands dish – and a lot of local pubs do them on the lunch. Liz does a posh version and uses gammon instead of bacon! LOL… also, on advice of local pub when asked for their recipe, she adds sage&onion stuffing – TBH the smell when cooking with the S&O, to me is a bit off-putting BUT the eating is gorgeous!! :) I have to laugh at that pub actually as it was where we’d pop for a lunchtime beer from work and they had had it on the menu for years and then a new chap took the pub over and I think he decided to go ‘upmarket’ on the meals as a small sprig of parsley was added as a garnish on top – didn’t last long due to the guffawing and the loud exaggerated ‘posh’ voices everyone made on receiving it!! Now back to the old bowl full and crusty bread…

    Bread pudding – there’s also bread’n’butter pudding which is ls layers of buttered bread slices with raisin/sultanas between the layers, oven baked… not so keen on that myself, too stodgy.

    Anyway, all hyped up for tomorrow’s outing now and tackle all ready waiting to be loaded into the car. One failure, went to get worms from my worm/compost pit and it was quite dry – and no worms found, thinks they’ve dug down deeper – anyway watered it and hopefully, as rain forecast here Tuesday and for a few days into next week, they’ll have re-appeared by next visit.

    Bathroom – now fully tiled, functional sink, bath and loo – chap installing the shower and heated towel rail (replaces old radiator) and doing trims on bath tomorrow, probably Tuesday painter comes for ceiling and doors – and Liz and I go to find the vinyl flooring we want to be fitted later in the week. Liz’s parents here on Thurs so may not have flooring down by then but at least the facilities will all be available :) Will try bath out when I get home tomorrow!! :) Hopefully all completed by Friday as the extended family are off to Great Yarmouth on Sat for a week….

    Best wishes!



    1. Goodness me Steve we do go off at tangents don’t we? No grey peas were not a part of either my mother’s (South London) or my mother in law’s (Co. Donegal) hand me down recipes. The nearest I can think is that my mum used to cook pease pudding when we had a gammon joint – a sort of solid yellow mush (about the consistency of a tin of condensed soup) made from soaked yellow split peas. Like you I’m not mad on bread and butter pudding, which is odd as left to my own devices I can usually devour stodge.


  2. Went to buy the ‘Ye Olde Oak’ chili sausages today… but although found plenty of plain ones I had trouble finding chili version.. . even other branded ones. That was until I went into Morrisons.. ‘YOO Fiery Sausage’ aplenty and reduced from £1.20 to £1.00 per can of 6 😊

    Which also reminds me… bread… I find the best fishing bread is Morrisons own brand ‘Super Toastie’… Best texture of all the breads IMHO… and only 65p a large loaf! Daylight robbery though as a few months ago it was 50p! LOL! Worth a try for the product at least and if you like it you save ca 35p a loaf into the bargain too even when compared to Aldi/Lidl… ☺️


    1. I think we’ve a Morrisons in new Milton, but need to check. Tbh for flake I reckon any cheap white sliced loaf that I don’t regard as edible will do. For crust I buy an uncut bloomer from the family bakers here in Highcliffe, then cut the crusts of for fishing and use the innards for a bread pudding. Is bread pudding a Midlands thing? It is very much a standard left overs dish in London, but I’m aware my running mate who grew up in E. Anglia had never heard of it. Mind you he is a bit posh, so may have grown up in a house where they didn’t do left over dishes.


  3. Phew Steve so many comments to respond to. So just bullets points in response using your paragraph order:

    Yes it is odd, but I’ve not spent that much time after barbel; 21 years ago when I first moved down here, my friend Chris and I tried some barbel fishing sessions, but in hindsight they were horribly naive. Chris probably connected with a barbel on the Royalty, his rod bent double, line stripped off and then all went still, so he tried reeling in against it and then he was smashed. Around that time I lost a real rod bending fight at Throop, but the bait was a big piece of flake, so I assume that was a river carp. Chris visits less often now (he has been busy with ageing parents and his allotment, whilst I was busy with young kids) and since then I’ve not really put the hours in after barbel. Maybe if I get the opportunity I’ll try in August during the last hour of daylight. One thing that may interest you is that the barbel guys reckon the barbel have migrated away from the Royalty.

    I too always assumed foul hooked fish don’t count.

    Rice is certainly cheaper than casters!

    Even allowing for Dorset being a degree or two warmer than the Midlands, I’m not convinced spawning has started down here yet. Pound to a penny I will end up coinciding a session with spawning.

    I think my ramblings only need a cursory read and good luck with #boggate.



  4. Well Liz is one barbel ahead of me, I’ve yet to catch one, despite our local commercial water stocking them.. My fishing mate from Croydon ‘caught’ one there when he was down in 2015 (pre this blog) but it was foul hooked. I often remind him that a foul hooked still water barbel is surely the world’s worst barbel capture.

    My close season still water campaign is not going as I would like … so I think, providing I can keep the momentum of getting bankside on a regular basis, I will progressively switch to rivers through June and early July and make the ‘big switch’ to running water when the school holidays start. Me, anti social, never! If I stick to that plan, I think it is roach, dace and chub I’ll be after throughout the summer.

    Given the 4th is your one opportunity for a while I’m crossing my fingers for you that it wont coincide with spawning. However, spawning has to happen soon.

    Good luck with the in-laws.



    1. Hi, Clive … surprised by the barbel comment, unless you mean stillwater barbel, as you fish the Avon/Stour and tributaries!

      My best canal carp (a nice and rare leather) of 13-05 was foul hooked – was plug fishing for pike at the time… Doesn’t count as far as I’m concerned but I did note its capture as a possible thing of interest to the BAA who hold the fishing rights on that stretch and they listed it as the ‘best canal leather’ for that year (2016, I think) LOL! Yep, foul hooked stillwater barbel must rank low! :D

      Getting ready for the 4th now … just boiled some turmeric coloured/flavoured rice up. I do put rice in my particles, usually as cheap filler, that’s been boiled in the water from my hemp boils but thought I’d try something different esp after John Bailey listed as a cheap substitute instead of casters for feeding – and YouTube also has a couple of videos on the same theme… However, boiled it less than I usually do – usually ends up as a sticky slop but this time did the par-boiled 6-min version per the videos and actually looks good!

      Re: spawning … it seems the fish are gathering up in the shallows at least on some waters … one of our secretaries (yep the club has 3! General (club/water/etc), membership (as it says on the tin) and assistant (arranges social activities, this year has arranged club hoodies, shirts and caps) and such-like plus support to the other two), Melissa, our assistant sec, went for a day’s bream fishing with another member (Chris Ponsford … may have heard of him as he writes quite a few magazine articles, done a fair few YouTube videos and is part of the Korum team) and fished the shallow end of one of our large (100 acre) waters, a South Staffs drinking water reservoir … and had a good haul of bream, easily 100lb+ between them … so seems the gathering for spawning is in progress… bit too cool for carp yet though I think … need waters closer to 20’C? Anyway, it’ll be my luck to find the reedy stretch of the pool (looks quite perchy) I’m going to, completely devastated and floating on the surface!

      Anyway, had a quick glance over your last two sessions a couple of days ago but with the bathroom work going on didn’t get chance for a full read … and I’m just about to rectify that now 


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