Session 7 (2020) – A Local Pool Session….

At 0900 on Friday, 30th January 2020, I headed out to my closest club pool, SAC-DP, for a few hours of general float fishing. A bit later start than usual but (a) the venue is only 10-15 minutes from home on clear roads and so travelling time is not a major issue, (b) we are allowed to park on the car park a local garden centre for a fee of £2 – safer than the lay-bye that’s also just over the road but where many cars get broken into – but which doesn’t open until 0900 and (c) between 0800 and 0900 the roads here are just crawling with works traffic so not its worth setting out earlier anyway.

So, car parked, I carted my tackle over the road and headed to a peg that I’d previously fished on my visits to this pool  although it wasn’t in the area I had been advised to fish at this time of the year – but I was on limited time to fish as I needed to be away fairly early to collect Liz from work as her shift had been temporarily altered so that she finished at 1500 rather than 1730 and the advised area would have been a fair distance extra further to walk – there and back.

So, Peg 8 it was….

2020-01-30 01

My station was set out, brolly up as there were intermittent light misty spotlets in the air at times, and the was swim pre-baited with a small amount of particle (hemp/rice) added crumb with a few catapulted maggots, Tackle for the day – 13’ float rod, 6lb Hyper Sensor line to size 10 Kamasan Animal barbless hook and a 3SSG rated windbeater float set to around 12” overdepth to fish lift method style. Bait was dendra worm….

First cast was made around 0945 …. but by 1330, despite extra small maggot feeds and re-casts, not a single nudge had been forthcoming and it was time to start to pack down…

Anyway, I don’t know when my next outing will be – I was thinking of going out tomorrow on the canal with float and bait but the weather forecast for the weekend and Monday is not looking good so possibly may be Tuesday 4th Feb…


AIR:                  MIN: 7.9’C         MAX: 9.2’C
WATER:           MIN: 4.5’C         MAX: 4.7’C





Session 6 (2020) – Canal Deadbait Piking….

Saturday, 25th January 2020, I went for a session of a few hours pike deadbaiting on a couple of the local stretches of the Staffs-Worcs Canal that lie between Brickbridge, Wombourne and Swindon Village – one half of the combined one mile (from the Waggon and Horses pub at Brickbridge to Botterham Lock) being administered by the Wolverhampton AA and the other half (Botterham Lock to Swindon Village) being administered by the Birmingham AA.

As Liz had the car for work it was a bus ride to the venue for me albeit Liz dropped me off at a bus stop for my required service on her way to work – and that worked well as the bus came within five minutes of my arrival there – and just thirty minutes later I was on the canal bank adding the final touches to my tackle set up.

I used a fairly standard floatfished deadbait rig – a twin semi-barbed treble snap tackle wire trace attached to 40lb braid mainline, with a slim pencil float and 10g quick change weight. My rod was an 11’ Ron Thompson (ca 3lb TC) Bass rod (£13 from Go Outdoors) coupled with a 5000 series fixed spool reel (a TFG one I received as a ‘gift’ for subscribing to a magazine).

Baits were varied between sprats, sardines, smelts and those smelt/pikelet looking ones of unknown species (BTW these are TOUGH baits – takes some pushing to even get a brand new hook to pierce!) over the day and swims…

So over the period of around 3 hours or so of actual fishing I wandered down the banks fishing half a dozen or so likely looking spots en-route, giving each spot about 20-40 minutes attention….

But all to no avail, although at one point I did get a float wobble but not sure if that was due to a fish or a passing dog that was showing interest in my bait bag at the time catching the line with his wagging tail but must say that when I tried flicking, and quite forcibly too, the line where he had been located I could make no impression on the float, so perhaps…??? Anyway, there was no further action in the following 10 minutes and I moved on…

An enjoyable day again albeit blank number 6 of 6 outings made in 2020 so far… and as I’ve commitments in the coming week coupled with the weather looking not too good either it may well be next Saturday, although we have weekend guests due – actually a late Xmas get-together for us. Liz’s brother, his partner and a friend are all coming to do our Xmas present exchanges… We were supposed to get together just before Xmas Day to have a meal out and swap presents but my illness/hospitalisation interfered with that – and then a further hospitalisation caused the next arranged get-together to be cancelled again  … and the coming weekend was the next available time that all of us were free to do it. So, Saturday, will be the Xmas present exchanging and unwrapping night coupled with a takeaway Chinese 🙂

Session 5 (2020) – NOT Pike Fishing….

Monday, 20th January 2020, at 0800, Liz and myself set off for a few hours of general coarse fishing.

We’d considered three options for the venue to visit and finally opted to fish a club pool in Shropshire (KF-VV) which is commercial in type and stockings (although it is a ‘Members Only’ pool) and thus can be generally relied upon to provide some action in most conditions.

Setting off from home, with footpaths, etc coated in a good layer of frost, the car thermometer recorded external air temperature at +1.5’C in the immediate urban areas but it dropped to -1.5’C  as we entered the countryside. And the car was well iced over (as it had been for a few days previously too) and despite having been out with the de-icer spray a little earlier we had to sit on the drive for 10-15 minutes with the windscreen and rear window heaters on as well as the car’s cabin heater – but as that relies on sourcing heat from the engine’s radiator cooling system that has to get up to temp first. So it was probably closer to 0815 when we drove off the driveway…

So the outlook for the day looked poor in the terms of catching ‘bags’ of fish but at least the pool does have a good head of chub which tend to feed OK no matter how cold the water temps drop – and although absolute temperatures do play a part, the bigger effects come from delta-Temp over delta-Time ie the rate of change in temperature with respect to the change in time (the faster the temp change, the greater the effect produced). As I said the air temps had been quite cold over several days so difference in those temps was small and water temperatures change far slower than air temps – so hoping the overall effects of the fish would be minor too.

We arrived at the pool I would say around 0900-0915 and we had a quick walk up the dam wall from where the car was parked to look to see what the situation. No-one else was on the water – unsurprisingly as Monday is generally a quiet day for fishing everywhere from my experience – workers back at work after the weekend and hard at it, and others who are ‘free’ generally prefer other weekdays – Wednesday actually seems the busiest day for doing things like meeting in the pub at lunchtime with old colleagues, theatre groups going to matinees, and doing other things – like fishing! Me, Mondays and Thursdays are my usual fishing days as you’ll know.

So, the swim we had decided to fish was thus vacant (in the 2nd photo we would have fished from by the far bank conifers) – however, it was far from fishable due to a layer of ice that covered the near end of the pool up to that swim. However, the far end of the pool was ice free and fishable – and that included a channel between the main bank and an island known within the club as ‘Chub Alley’ – so as I alluded earlier to the chub’s habits to include eating even in cold times this was of course where we chose to fish.

Liz fished at the far end of the spit of mainland with maggot feeder out to the end of the island where a large overhanging bush grows and another maggot feeder out into open water… myself, I fished parallel to a wooden bridge that crosses from the mainland across to the island (Pic 1) as there is an overhanging bush slightly to the right of the far end of the bridge (just out of pic) and fishing close to the bridge itself is a good area for perch. I floatfished with maggot and worm.

Anyway, we fished until 1500 – Liz having had just a few small nudges until 1450 when she had a good bite and landed a chub of 2lb 13oz – a clean sheet with zero blanks for 2020 fishing trips too…

Liz 2lb 13oz Chub 02

Liz’s 2lb 13oz Chub

Myself, I floatfished for the whole session. Firstly, with maggot without a single touch and then latterly with worm with similar results at the start. I started my fishing a 5AAA antenna waggler with a bulk of shot about 24” from the hook, and the tell-tale shot 6” from the hook and a couple of trimming shot midway between the two groupings and the hook/bait was presented on the bottom. However, the float did drift slightly and so, after fishing with worm for an hour or so to no effect, I added an SSG shot tight to the telltale shot, removed one of the small trimming shot and increased the depth I was fishing at by about 12” – thus I was now fishing overdepth and slightly overshotted and needed to tighten the line to cock the float – so almost, but not quite, lift-method style. So now the bait was anchored to the spot and no longer drifted. And this proved to be an improvement in that I now started to get bites … float rising slightly in the water and then travelling along, often against the drift/breeze. However, although at least some of the bites were ‘unmissable’, they were all missed even after allowing longer times between indication and strike! Possibly small perch just grabbing the worm’s head or tail? Anyway, 1500 came and it was packing up time and the tackle was put away… and blank number 5 of 5 trips made so far in 2020 was concluded…

But it wasn’t the end of the day’s fun and games… oh no, far from it!!

Got to the car, loaded up the gear, Liz went and unpadlocked the gate while I did the final loading and shoe changing … got in car and started to drive away … and the hard frozen ground of the morning had thawed … and I experienced the dreaded wheel spin!! Got the bread crate panels I always carry in the car at this time of the year to park upon to prevent the problem – thought the ground was OK so didn’t use them BUT seems I’d reversed just 24” too far and on a slight upslope – and tried pushing those under the wheels but still couldn’t get a grip. Ended up deflating the tyres from their usual 44psi to 8psi … and managed, by pulsing/rocking backwards and forwards to finally get a grip and manage to make it too the hardcore tyre tracks… but now I had to re-inflate those tyres back to 44psi – and that took 45 minutes..  but at least we were back on track (excuse pun) and headed home … where worse awaited us…

Got home, decided to reverse car up the driveway to make unpacking easier by dropping it all in the garage until the morning … but managed to reverse TOO far and went straight into the front porch’s sliding aluminium doors…

So, this morning, I was straight on to our house insurance, our £100 excess paid up, surveyor coming on Thursday (23rd) morning between 0800 and 1300 to assess damage and hopefully arrange fitting of new doorway…. Doors opened to the current full extent in the pics due to buckled framework and its a bit of a squeeze to get in/out…


OOH…. I forgot to mention one other thing…. Whilst folding down my rod at the end of the session I discovered reasons it didn’t seem to be casting too well…. (A) the line had a knotted wind loop in it which would have snagged in the rod rings on each cast… (B) the line had been misthreaded through one rod ring – through the frame of the ring rather than the ring itself… (C) one rod ring had been missed out completely when the line had been threaded. AND (B) and (C) at least must have been like that for the previous 2-3 sessions when the rod was used as I don’t tackle down, just unplug the rod’s sections, fold over and velcro them together…. Anyway, will be rectified as I need to put on new line due to that knot….


AIR:                  MIN: 3.5’C         MAX: 7.2’C
WATER:           MIN: 3.6’C         MAX: 4.2’C


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Session 4 (2020) – Pike Fishing On An Old Estate Water

Monday, 13th January 2020, I set off at 0800 on a pike fishing trip to Patshull Great Pool, a local Staffordshire lake of 75 acres or so created by Capability Brown, work being started on its creation in 1768 for the Astley family… the estate then passed through several hands until it became owned by the Dartmouth family (Earl and Lady Dartmouth) in the mid-1800’s … it remained in the Dartmouth family then until 1958 when it passed to the Crown in lieu of death duties… The full history can be found at:

There are other smaller pools on the estate (Church Pool and Lady Barbara Pool) which are I believed syndicated carp waters these days but possibly limited tickets are available to fish those… See:

I have fished Patshull many times in my years…

I originally fishing there in the 1950’s (I’d be about 6-8 years old!) when still owned by the Dartmouth’s. At that time if you donated 2s 6d (12.5p in today’s currency) to the Dartmouth’s charity then you were given an annual FAMILY fishing permit … and my grandmother, who ran a pub, donated annually to this charity. So, at 1400 (2:00pm) on the Sunday (under the licensing laws as they applied then) the pub would be locked up for afternoon and my grandmother, parents, uncle and myself would be off to Patshull for an afternoon’s fishing – finishing when it was time to get back to re-open the pub for the Sunday evening session. The fishing was far different in those days than it is now – back then you were limited to probably just 800 yards (possibly less) of the bank to fish from, no boats of any description were allowed on there and only coarse fish were resident in the pool, bream, pike, perch being the main species although I believe tench existed in there and later carp were added…. Nowadays, you can hire punts with electric motors (or take your own motor to avoid the hire fee for one), fish much more of the bank space, etc, etc AND in the 80’s trout were added and the lake now provides coarse and game fishing within specified ‘seasons’…

There was a break of a few years in my fishing here post the late 1950’s after the estate went to the Crown and it was probably the late 70’s, early 80’s when I returned by which time punts (no motors, had to row) were available and more of the banks had been opened to fishing access … and in this era ‘names’ such as Nige Williams, Des Taylor and John Sidley were frequent visitors to the banks of the pool. Myself and angling buddy did a lot of summer bream fishing there from a punt – originally they were the stereotypical fishing punt ie light weight, low sides etc exactly as you see on Thames punting videos – bar that oars rather than poles were used but with 20’ of water long poles would be required!) but then they were replaced by humongous army pontoons very heavy and built rowing muscles you never knew you had! I see today the lighter type punts are now the ones that are back in use. Also visits after winter pike were made… and in fact I came second on one of the pike day comps held there with a 17lb’er caught on ledgered sprat…

Anyway, roll on a few years, my fishing was curtailed, I played golf for 10 of them… then via The Big Bang Theory coupled with Liz’s acquisition of a Wii, a shed tidy shedding light back on my tackle and retirement I’m back to my fishing in earnest … get licences, permits, club memberships … and then last year I returned back to Patshull, along with Liz on the first visit and then I made a further two solo visits that year…

AND now to the present … back in the fold of fishing after an enforced layoff for several months … and finding myself mid-term in my personal pike season (1st October-31st March I fish 95% plus of the time for pike) it really was time for me to return back to Patshull.

I left home at 0800 … morning just starting to brighten … to make the 5 mile or so journey to the gates of the pool… awaited at the fishing lodge door as no-one was there when I arrived but soon the bailiff appeared and a £8.50 permit was placed in my pocket…. and I headed to my swim … Peg 45, not fished there previously but when I’d fished a few pegs away the previous winter and did a reconnoitre around it looked a good area to me and so… there I went.

A nice looking swim on ‘the point’ where the large open bay turns into a narrower section thus fish following the banks get herded around – or so the thinking was :)…

2020-01-13 Patshull 01

Patshull, Peg 45

First casts were made around 1000 with static deadbaits on each of the two rods – and the rods were actually the ones I’d used in the 1980’s – homebuilt from Northwestern blanks (2.5lb or 2.75lb TC IIRC) and consist of just the blanks themselves fitted with rod rings and the reel mounts are Fuji ones…

Fuji Reel Seat

Fuji Reel Seat/Mount

… attached with insulation tape over a few layers of the same tape wrapped around the blank just to protect it from the mount’s metalwork – no cork nor foam handle at all – and the end of the blanks are plugged with rubber bungs to prevent mud, etc getting inside. As basic as basic can get but I’d not swap these rods for all the money on Earth, feel a natural part of me now! The reels used were XLT 5000 ones loaded with 40lb Spectra (7-strand) braid. Traces of 30lb stranded wire with tandem double hooks and leads of 3oz on 6” sliding links of 20lb mono completed the setup.

Baits used initially were 3 sprats on one rig and a bait I sourced from Birmingham Fish Market some time ago, not sure what its called but comes from the seas around India IIRC and look very much like a small pike (4”-6”) but with the colour of a smelt. About halfway through the session the baits were changed from sprats to smelt (still 3 baits on the hooks) and the pike-smelt changed to a sardine slashed along its flanks to release its oils and aromas…

BUT by 2pm when I packed in – heavy rain had been forecast and in between a couple of showers with the sky in the distance darkening I elected to call it a day – I had had not one touch all session …again.

Four sessions into 2020 and not one touch, never not one fish…

One nice thing, a pal of mine appeared walking the banks and we had a chat for a good half hour, probably more. We used to be members of the same club but he left to venture elsewhere – in fact I think he’s part of the carp syndicate at Patshull these days too… Great to see him again!

Next trip planned for Thursday 16th January – a few hours on the Staffs-Worcs Canal armed with maggots and, possibly, bread and looking for perch, chub and bream mainly.


AIR:                  MIN: 6.1’C         MAX: 9.6’C
WATER:           MIN: 5.9’C         MAX: 6.2’C






Session 3 (2020) – Lure Fishing On The Local Canal

Saturday, 11th January 2020, I decided to spend a couple of hours on the Staffs-Worcs Canal, lure fishing between Swindon (a small village in Staffordshire, not the Wiltshire one) and Botterham Lock, Wombourne. It was a general thing I wanted to do (lure fish the canal) but the actual venue/stretch was decided really by access – although it must be said it is a stretch I’ve fished in the chosen manner several times before and thus not really a ‘second best’ option. The choice being made as I didn’t have access to the car as Liz works on Saturdays and has an early start on her shift so has first call on it… so I needed a venue accessible by public transport and which Swindon has the easiest access to by the means … and the bus also covers the area at the opposite end stretch I was to fish so getting back home was also catered for. Basically, 2 buses each way (home->city bus station to change bus->venue and vice versa) and about 40 minutes travelling time although there is an extra 10-15 minutes wait for the bus at changeover time to be added to the total.

So, I set off from home at around 0800 armed with my 8’6” Ron Thompson (10-30g) spinning rod and reel loaded with 15lb mono and a 9” wire lure trace, a small compartmented box of lures of various types from small jellies, small rubber shad bodies, bar spinners, etc, my flask of coffee and a 22” landing net to be used in conjunction with my Korum 2.5 metre Snapper Cult telescopic landing net pole (Xmas present – fantastic for this sort of job – very light and 4-sections compact down to 60cm to carry and comes with a strap to attach to a bag or carry over the shoulder…

Arrival at the canal and first casts were made just after 0900… starting with a small bristly worm like jelly lure on an offset hook…

2020-01-11 Staffs-Worcs Canal, Marsh Lock, Swindon

Staffs-Worcs Canal – just above Marsh Lock, Swindon…

And so I worked my way along the canal up to Botterham Lock…

2020-01-11 Staffs-Worcs Canal, Pipe Bridge At Botterham Lock, Wombourne

The ‘Pipe Bridge’ With Botterham Lock In The Background

Now, to get the bus home I needed to walk the next half a mile of canal above Botterham Lock but I couldn’t fish it (despite it looking really ‘fishy’ – more so than the BAA section I fished actually – more far bank growth over the water) as the water is on the Wolverhampton AA card. AND I had tried to get a WAA card a few days beforehand but the young lad who was serving on his own in the tackle at the time couldn’t locate them and when he rang the shop owner it seemed that they may have been locked away in a safe box to which he had no access at the time … However, following my session on this day, and with a bit of time to play with before Liz was due home from work, I detoured my journey home to visit said tackle shop again and, after a bit of a search again (it appeared the tickets had been moved elsewhere) tickets were located and one was duly purchased ready for next the next outing…

BTW…. both the BAA and WAA cards are good value…

The BAA card for £30 (concessionary, normally £40) gives access to good lengths of the Staffs-Worcs Canal a stretch of the Worcs Stour and several stretches of the Middle Severn locally … and further afield a number of pools, further canal options (Birm-Worcs Canal, Coventry Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal, etc)  Lower Severn, Warks Avon, River Lugg, River Teme, etc. See:

The WAA card (£10 concession, £20 adult) allows fishing locally on several stretches of both the Staffs-Worcs Canal and the Shropshire Union Canals…. See:

OK … so posting this now … but I have already completed Session 4 – Patshull Pool, a pike fishing session which I did yesterday… SO… Did he catch? Did he not catch? There’s only one way to find out …. and will be available very shortly and free to read!! LOL!

Best wishes to all….

Session 2 (2020) – Pike Fishing On A Club Water

Thursday, 9th January 2020, I set off at 0800 on a pike fishing trip to Pike Water 5 – a local pool to home.

The plan was to fish for an hour or so with maggot on the float rod to catch a few livebaits and then the rest of the day would be given over to the pike fishing… but the best laid plans of mice and men….

I arrived in my swim – not the one I would have chosen at this time of the year I hasten to add although at the start of the pike season it is a good peg. By this time of the year the bait fish, and pike too, are generally shoaling ready to spawn over on the far side BUT due to the lack of a usable barrow to cart my equipment over – and it took 3 trips to and fro the car to get the tackle to the chosen swim and again in reverse when packing up – I chose this swim.

2020-01-09 Gunstone

So, float rod was set up, depths plumbed, free fed maggots fired out and the first cast made around 0930 … but by 1030 I still had not had the merest tremble on the float despite changing depth of fishing, etc. Didn’t look too good for the rest of the day really BUT at one point a large swirl did appear to my left – and I hoped it was a pike in the swim (although it could have been a carp) as (a) might explain reluctance of silvers to feed and (b) well, yeah, a pike in the swim would be good!

So 1030 I tackled down the livebait catching rod and set up my two float fishing pike rods and fished these with deadbaits that I’d taken along with me as a backup plan if needed…

One rod had 2 sprats as bait, the other a bait (Birmingham Fish Market sourced last winter, can’t remember the name of them) that looked like a cross between a small pikelet and a smelt…. and I fished these at varying distances out, at varying depths until 1430 when, not having had the merest hint of any interest whatsoever from Messrs E. Lucius and family, I decide to call it a day as I needed to return home to sort out and dry wet tackle, put baits back in the freezer and then wash and brush up before going to collect Liz from work at 1730…

So, 2020, isn’t being kind to me yet, awarding me 2 successive blanks – but I’m hoping for ‘third time lucky’ tomorrow (Friday 11th) when I’m heading down to the local canal (Staffs-Worcs) with the mini-jigs and various lures to see if I can tempt any perch, chub or pike there. I’m having to go on the bus though as Liz needs the car for an early start at work so I’m intending to leave the house around 0800, then its two buses to my start point (to Wolves City Centre and then out to destination). I’ll then fish along the canal to the far end of the stretch where I can catch a bus on a different route back to the city centre and finally my city to home bus. Takes about an hour from leaving home to get to destination and about same to get back so its not too bad. And travelling light with just a shoulder bag with flask, lures, scales, camera plus a plastic carrier bag that holds the landing net and pole, unhooking mat and a 3-legged stool to sit on whilst having a coffee… and then just the ready tackled up rod.

Still waiting for the new wheels I’ve ordered for my barrow – should arrive today according to ETA. Hope so, as I do really need to have a usable barrow by Monday otherwise options will be very limited.

I took my thermometer with me and started graphing the temperature trends – but with only one set of data so far not really not much info to be gained…. but here are the starting graphs anyway … now recording MIN and MAX temps for both air and water this time round…


WATER:           MIN: 6.3’C         MAX: 6.6’C
AIR:                  MIN: 7.5’C         MAX: 12.6’C

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First Outing 2020 – Pike Fishing On A Large Reservoir

Monday, 6th January 2020, saw Liz and myself setting off for our first angling trip out in 2020 … much looked forward to by myself certainly as I’d not fished since September for health reasons previously given in earlier posts.

Our destination for the day (well, the day actually consisted of about 2.5 hours of actual fishing) was a large 100 acre reservoir in Shropshire that is on one of my club cards and our intended quarry was to be Esox Lucius – the pike! Well, what else was it going to be at this time of the year? 🙂

The weather was not the best that could have been hoped for – 7.5’C on the car’s temp gauge on the trip over – water temp not taken as I’d forgotten to pack my thermometer. And the wind was blowing hard into our faces too and even on a hot midsummer’s day on this venue you get quite cold as the breeze is cooled as it passes over the water…. and there was a good chop on the water with waves approaching 18” high at times….


Even the geese flying over the water were travelling at 45’ to their actual facings!

We fished static ledgered deadbaits – Liz one rod with a sardine bait and myself two rods, one with sardine and the other a smelt. Liz’s rod was her 11’ 2.75lb TC Ron Thompson pike rod, whilst my rods were both ones I homemade back in the 80’s from 11’ 2.75lb TC North Western blanks. We both had 3oz leads on but even that made little headway on the casts with about 20 yards the greatest distance attainable.

First casts were made at around 1030 and by 1300 neither of us had not so much of a sniff of any interest from the pike and so decided at that point that the allure of a beer with a bowl of hot gray paes and bercon bits (grey peas and bacon, to those from outside the Black Country) was too great to resist and so we packed in and headed back home to a local.

As mentioned in my previous posting I did take my newly acquired spectacle mounted HD action cam….


… however, I think I need to RTFM again as they say, as I ended with a blank memory card when I plugged it into the PC to transfer the footage. As you, obviously, can’t see the lights that indicate ‘standby’and ‘recording’ the camera passes that info out as a series of vibration patterns – and I think I got them mixed up! DOH!! Oh well, another try when I venture out again on Thursday to a different venue all being well.

Another 2 things as well…

As we’d not used our kit for a while I reminded Liz to check her batteries in her walkie talkie, bite alarms, etc BUT then failed to do the same with my own equipment – and discovered my bite alarm batteries were dead…..

And on Sunday night, as I loaded the barrow into the car ready for the off on the following morning, I noticed the wheel’s tyre was flat – no problem, connected up the air pump, inflated it to 30lb PSI per usual and all seemed fine. However, on arrival, the tyre was flat again :(. Just been on eBay now and bought two new complete wheel/tyres – not much dearer than buying a tyre and inner tube and can just slip on a new wheel saving the hassle of battling with tyre levers, etc… So one wheel on, one for spare – and I might have a look at the original and see if I can do a puncture repair when I have a spare minute or two. HOWEVER, the new wheels are unlikely to arrive before I head out again on Thursday – and I’ve checked wheels on my wheelbarrow and a trolley I have and none of those fit the barrow – so looks like several journeys to and from the car to unload and reload on that trip.


So really my 2019 year ended on the 14th September 2019, the last session fished due to having to go into hospital for an operation to remove a cancer in my rectum (operation was an ‘anterior resection and ileostomy’). One upside of it is that I now have a key to ‘RADAR’ disabled toilets – but then again would have preferred not to have needed one in the first place but it’s a case of needs must when the devil drives I suppose…. And, the ileostomy is supposed to be a temporary thing and will hopefully be reversed around May/June – so I’ll probably have to miss the start of the river season!

Anyway, I was hoping to get back out on the waters by early December BUT then I developed kidney problems with them not functioning properly and becoming very dehydrated … and my GP was a waste of time when I saw them 3 times in 2 weeks at start of December – no tests (blood or urine taken even), prescribed anti-biotics and nasal spray on first visit, different nasal spray on second and vitamin/mineral drinks on the third – NOT HAPPY!! – and now filled in forms to register at another practice… Anyway, on the Thursday before Christmas (19th?), being unable to eat without vomiting fo several days, I went to the local A&E – blood test showed kidneys malfunctioning (or as the doctor said, ‘your kidneys are dry!’) which led to me being admitted and receiving 4 litres of saline on a drip over Friday and Saturday, along with an anti-emetic … plus drinking water like it was going out of fashion. Immediate recovery – ate like a horse from the Saturday morning onwards and no sickness or feelings of nausea at all. However, although further blood tests showed an improvement they weren’t quite where the doctors wanted them and so more saline and stop in until Sunday lunchtime when results were acceptable and I was allowed home … So I was at home and feeling fine through Christmas Day eating well… Boxing Day I felt a little fatigued/tired which I put down to the usual excess eating on Christmas Day … but on the Friday I was again unable to keep food down and ended up back in A&E again … and again dehydration was the cause despite having drunk copious amounts of water. Plus I had high potassium levels… so I was on a dextrose and insulin drip to combat the potassium along with more saline to re-hydrate… again almost immediately able to eat without any problems. Monday, 30th I was deemed fit and again discharged… And so far, fingers crossed and wood touched, I have been fine so hoping it remains so now onwards.

So, my hoped for end of 2019 sessions never got under way … but I have now packed my tackle bags and checked my baits in the freezer ready for a reservoir pike fishing outing on a club water with Liz on Monday 6th January… so watch this space!! 🙂

Anyway, I hope you all fared better over Christmas than I did but at least I did get Christmas Day at home, something which was looking unlikely as we approached the day…

So, may I now wish one and all, belatedly, All The Very Best for 2020 … and may your sticks bend and the strings sing regularly throughout the year … !!!

Take care on the banks too – especially on rivers as they can be treacherous currently with floods and hence mud making them slippery and erosions undercutting them, etc…. And if you should, heaven forbid, fall in GO WITH THE CURRENT edging your way in to the bank … most people drown due to the natural instinct of trying to get back to where they fell in and waste so much energy trying to do so. Mind you, the cold shock will probably get you first…. so prevention is definitely the better option to cure in this case!!

Oh… I bought a new toy … and had a great Xmas present!

Toy: a camera that attaches to the stem of specs – or over-glasses. I have a GoPro’ish camera (well, 2 actually) but find that with a chest harness it impedes access to pockets and a head band it keeps rising up and it feels heavy in the bargain too. This camera is tiny (about 20-25g) I’d say but records an excellent image, far better even than the action/GoPro cams. I’ll post a pic possibly in the next post … maybe a bit of video too.

Present: a Korum Snapper Cult landing net pole (2.5m mine but also do a 1.5m version). I wanted one for my canal fishing especially lure fishing when roving from one swim to the next. Its telescopic (4 sections) and folded down is only 60cm (2ft) long (excluding actual net, of course)… quite light too … and has a shoulder strap…. so not used it yet but hopefully will get out there on the canals with it in the next few weeks having a few short mini-jig and bait sessions for perch and chub…. and bream and whatever else comes along… 🙂