Saturday 25 May 2024


Date fished 25/5/2024

8am until 1pm

Dragging the kids away from YouTube was easy, I just had to use food. Homemade sausage and egg muffins for the boy and pain au chocolate for the girl. Fully fuelled up, we headed to Tilcon. 

Rupe had a 4m whip he had not used yet, we then had another float rod shared between us. Sweetcorn as bait, not Martha this time. 

The delicate nature of the whip meant Rupe could fish close to the bush. It seems that's where the fish were as he soon caught two ide and a tench, whilst Martha and I were on the blank! 

We switched tactics and soon Martha had an ide too. I believe called "Gerald".

And then a tench, "Gerrard".

I was getting beaten by these two, so I pulled out my A game, Lunch! We sat in the car and ate our sandwiches, I quickly rushed back to the swim and caught two ide.

The whip still proved a great tactic as Rupe lifted into something a little bigger. I had told him about the bream. A great big fish that gives up easy, he smirked. 

This one was no different, it popped to the surface and he brought it across to the waiting net. At 3lb 3oz it was a great bream for his first. 

The final count was:

Dad 2

Martha 3

Rupert 5

We had great family time and even caught fish. Sitting at home, I asked Rupe what the blog title should be. It seems I didn't get in before he turned youtube back on and he simply replied "fishing". 

Saturday 18 May 2024

Blog 296

Date fished 18/5/2024

6.45 am until 12 pm

With love in the air, it was a sedate session. Spawning is happening up and down the country based on water temps, sunshine and if you paid for the meal. Tilcon is no different, carp crashing in the shallows and bream displaying their tubercles. I opted for the usual float and ledger tactics to catch those bachelors not courting, sweetcorn on the hook with loose feed 6mm pellets. 

The peaceful surroundings of Tilcon may soon be supercharged. I have joined Rupe and Martha up to the club. They are of an age now where they want to fish with me more and its free for them to join Ryton (£5 one off joining fee). A great initiative by the club and getting youngsters on board can only be good for the future of the club. Well done!

An early start and I was at the lake. It was action right from the start. Bites constantly, the lake was alive. I caught on the float and ledger but mostly concentrated on the float rod. The ledger rod not even in the water, no need for a sleeper today! 

From 9am, the sun was warm and bites slowed a bit. I still caught but definitely slower than the cooler early morning. 

Many lost bites, fish. The usual rogue carp that realised it was hooked and swam at warp speed across the lake. My hooklink giving up the ghost about three quarters of the way across. 

No fish weighed. Although one bream was big framed, so I should of weighed it. But you will see below, most fish I unhooked in the water and let them go. A couple of the ide were huge, could not get my hand around them. I regret them plopping back in as I fumbled with the phone camera.

I ended with two tench, four bream and nine ide. Two fish short from matching the blog number. If I realised that 30 mins ago, I would of stayed at the lake. Doh!! 

Monday 6 May 2024

Just as Gr-r-reat

Date fished  6/5/2024
7am until 12pm

A Monday that I didn't have to go to work, what could be better? I started with a Gregg's sausage roll, cereal was for the fish. I had some cornflakes that were a little stale, perfect for groundbait. I know the title is for Frosties, I preferred this to the slogan from the rooster! I only had cornflakes, Frosties would never go stale in this house. 

Heavy rain was forecast this afternoon, and as I write this now at 1pm, it has still not arrived. A good few hours was enough though and I planned to leave before the downpour arrived. 
The looming storm meant the air was still, very peaceful on the lake with hardly any ripples.

A small feeder was cast to my right and I float fished a little way out in front. Corn on both, I was sure the warmer weather would get the fish feeding on this. The snap, crackle and pop of the pylon gently humming as the moisture increased. 

First indication on the ledger as my rod tip danced up and down. I could tell it was the intended target and a lovely bream soon graced the net. It was a big framed fish, but yet to put some weight on. A hearty breakfast will soon sort it out. Phil on hand in the next swim to take a pro picture. 

As I started to feed more, bites came to the float rod. I missed a couple before finally connecting. The fish swam around the swim, I watched it as I played it to the net. It was easy to see, as it was bright orange! 

It's golden colour brightening my morning, I wonder if it is called Graham? 

I had said Cheerio(s) to Phil a while ago, so no one was around to take a pic with me in, so it's just the fish this time. Bites were coming to both rods now, I opted to concentrate on the float and reeled in the feeder, my lucky charm. Another ide, this one not golden soon followed. 

I was casting closer to where I knew the swim platform was. Soon enough, I hooked it and lost my hooklink. As I was leaving soon, I just ledgered close in, where I had been feeding. Several savage pulls, but sadly no more fish. They must be three shredded wheat kinda fish.

A great few hours on the lake and soon my tummy was rumbling. I packed up and headed home for something more substantial than cereal! 

Saturday 20 April 2024

Well fed

Date fished 20/4/2024

8am until 1pm 

Frosts during the week and lows of minus one. Perfect for some spring tench! 😂

The weather is usually the limiting factor in my fishing. Too hot, drought, too wet, flooded just some of the experiences these last few years. I try not to grumble though, no bugger would listen (or sympathise!)

Tom and I decided to head to Tilcon. We had been messaging about halibut pellets over the last few weeks. Me teasing him, as he loves them, that he was making them for dinner! He assured me it was actually corned beef hash, it looked good, my invite must have been in the post?!

Arriving at the lake, it was similar to the last outing here. I had the float rod and the ledger gear ( not sure why I use rod and gear that way?! but always do)

Walking around the flooded path, I found a couple of fishable swims next to eachother. I plonked my gear into one and started feeding. myself, not the fish! Or so Tom thinks. 

I ate two roast beef rolls, a kit kat, a little orange and drank my flask of coffee. Not too much! 

We then fed the fish. Corn, pellets and groundbait. No bites but plenty of fish topping and a huge ripple right next to my float. My exclamation only met with Tom's laughter as he declared "that was my pellet I chucked at your float!" 

Blanker! (Not a typo) 

Saturday 6 April 2024


Date fished 6/4/2024

7am until 12pm

A date with Kathleen later today didn't sound fun, so I headed out early. The rivers being closed to coarse fishing had me going to my usual April to June ish haunt of Tilcon. It's great to have a club close by, just to cater for my closed season fix. In truth, I probably fish Tilcon from April to October, but mostly evenings when the river season is back open from mid June. 

Today, the lake was full. Very full. The wooden platform I usually sit on was a good few feet underwater, and by a few I may mean five! Am sure someone will tell me. I plumbed and was fishing fairly deep on the bottom and was probably just about fishing where the normal edge of the lake would be. 

Nornally, I would walk from the end of the wooden channel to the platform by that bush. That's how much water was in. But it looked perfect for a fish. Kathleen had brought some unusually warm weather and when the drizzle stopped, it was ideal weather. 

Float fished sweetcorn about 10 steps from my parked car was the approach, with a little bit of bread crumb and micro pellets as loose feed. It took about an hour and the float disappeared. A nice, hand sized ide to open my account. 

Another angler came just as I was releasing the ide, we had a little chat and he set off to the other side of the lake. 

Unfortunately no more fish for me, but I had a good time. Whilst slowly being hypnotised by the float, I watched Magpies taking housing materials to their chosen spot, a deer eating it's breakfast and a large fish porpoising over floating sweetcorn skins. 

I thought it was a large bream, it didn't slurp them down like a carp. Instead, going back and forth over one skin. It took two or three attempts to eat it. Of course, I changed tactics and soon two skins attached to my hook sat on the surface. The fish took my offering three times, but sadly no hook ups! 

I enjoyed my day at Tilcon. I sat and realised, it was the last place I had fished with Davey. I am not a believer when people say it's not called "catching" but "fishing", so not catching is ok.

However, I was more than happy to sit and be hypnotised by nature this morning. Am off now to hook up with Kathleen and make her dry my washing! 

Thursday 14 March 2024

Setting the Tone

Date fished 14/3/2024
8am until 2pm

A week in Dorset to visit my mum followed by a weekend in London meant I was 'free' for the last day of the river season. I had planned to fish down here last year, but never managed it. I acquired a day ticket from Taunton Angling Association and decided on a section of the river Tone. 

I drove 45 mins to the spot and parked in the cinema car park, no signs so I assumed gratis. The rain had been with me on most of the journey but it was starting to ease. I tackled up (the correct rod) in the first likely swim and cast my cheesepaste in at 8am. At 8.09 my rod shuddered and hooped around, it's been so long since I caught anything. I missed it. I cast back in and waited. 
The culprit did not return. 

Never having fished this river or stretch before, I toyed with walking it all first or fishing as I went. Of course, I ended up fishing it as I walked. Every swim looked too good to ignore. 

Constant taps in the next swim, but nothing materialised. Eventually I was at the downstream limit. A likely looking overhanging tree formed a perfect chubby raft. I dropped the bait in and sat back. Seconds passed and the rod hooped over. My first River Tone fish in the net. It had been a while, so I weighed it. 2lb 8oz. I was a happy South West Angler from the North East!!

I turned around and headed back upstream. I found a swim I didn't try the first time. It was a tight squeeze, but some quality casting and I was fishing. Again it took seconds for the chub to be on the bait. I missed four bites, until I eventually connected. Another spirited, Somerset chub. 2lb 9oz. 

The next swim had two very strange things happen. Firstly, as I entered it, I saw something that I thought I saw earlier. I was looking into this swim from about 20 metres away and I thought I saw a terrapin/ tortoise. I realised it was just an odd shaped leaf. Or was it? 

Shy for the pic, but was walking about quite happily.

I kept an eye on it whilst fishing, as they are faster than a hare, so I didn't want it sneaking up on me. My rod didn't move the whole time. As I started to wind in, there was resistance. A fish was on, but had not given any indication. Last time this happened on the Swale it was a pike. I assumed it ate the cheese paste and just sat there. 

I was wondering what it was, as I got it to the bank it was another chub. However, I was now faffing with the net and chub. Something had to give, and the chub wiggled free of the barbless hook. 

I was soon back at the first swim. I tried again and missed two bites. The second was because I did the usual trick of counting down from ten to determine when I would re cast. But this time, on one the rod hooped over. I was so surprised, I missed the bite! 

I kept trying but the rain started again. I didn't want to be soaking wet as I have to pack all the gear and head to London tomorrow morning. Two, Tone Twos and a terrapin/tortoise was enough for me! 

Saturday 9 March 2024

They come in threes

Date fished  9/3/2024

7am until 1pm

A final Tees flourish before another closed season. I do quite "like" the closed season. Time for nature to recover, replenish and rewild. I definitely think it should be regional though. Even on our little island there is substantial regional variation, so the closed should reflect that. 

Anyway, Ellis and I fished a club stretch for the final time this river season, actually I have only fished three times with Ellis since June 2023! 

Not showing the blank label

I met Ellis and we unloaded the cars. Ellis suddenly looked pale, he had forgotten something. Fortunately he found the lost item and we carried on. Nothing major, just his reels!! Not sure how he would of fished with none. 

We walked to the river, I got my ledger rod out of the bag. Suddenly I looked pale, I had forgotten something. Nothing major, just the ledger rod. I had brought a 13 ft waggler rod and ledger gear!! Not perturbed, I tackled up anyway and cast in. 

We are great at this fishing malarkey!!

No fish here, but a big fish jumped mid river, it was enough to give us five more minutes. When that was over we headed upstream. 

The John Wilson ledger rod was first to get action. As we chatted, literally mid sentence, Ellis's rod hooped over. He played the cheesepaste munching culprit to the net. A lovely chub. Not Ellis, the fish, Ellis is a slim! 

We decided to put a number on it, I guessed 3lb 2oz. It went 3lb 4oz. 

We fished on but with no more luck, we moved on. The cold wind was now joined with freezing rain, not enough to stop us. Gloves now on, we carried on. 

We found another swim.  I was downstream when Ellis caught his chub, so I went upstream this time. A few knocks on the John Wilson ledger rod. Ellis waited patiently and it happened. His rod hooped over and he was in again. This time I guessed 3lb 9oz and it was 3lb 7oz. Two cracking chub.

Ellis wanted his hatrick, so again we gave it a few more minutes, but nothing came back. Well, not to my cheesepaste. Ellis had a few more knocks. We put our location to "what three words", only the 256m accuracy though, brilliant!?!

A windy swim followed with no interest. One last swim, more out of comfort than anything else. We could sit next to eachother and have a natter. I wasn't feeling chubby, again I mean the fish not Ellis!! So, we packed up and headed home. 

My dad would always say bad luck or the like came in threes. We nearly had no reel for Ellis, I had the wrong rod. So had we had avoided the third curse? As we said our goodbyes, Ellis walked to his car door.

"Are you not taking your chair Ellis?" I asked, as I saw it still leaning against his wheel arch. 

2-1 to you Ellis!! 

Sunday 25 February 2024


Date fished 24/02/2024
8am until 12.30pm

A short session with Tom on the Tees started with Jack Frost. It meant Tom was late picking me up. Well, that was the excuse. Car loaded, we headed south. No cars parked in the lane was surprising, but not to dwell on this. A brisk walk downhill and we were at Tom's favourite swim. It is a great swim on the Association water. As we are both Jack of all trades, there were choices in the tackle brought. Tom was after pike, me the chubbys.

The river looked perfect, the guage at Broken scar said 97cm and dropping slowly. I was fishing after a few minutes, whilst Tom readied himself. 

Jack the lad, Jack and Jill in the background 

The river lay in front of me, so not quite sure why Tom was 10 yards behind me. It's no longer panto season. 
A feeder filled with bread crumb and cheesepaste moulded around a cork ball and I was set. Casting in the slack, I was sure a chub might want breakfast. 

The sun soon came out and it was a lovely morning. We chatted about everything and soon was discussing breeding, fish not us! A Jack pike being 10lb or less,  Sexual dimorphisim in fish and something different in humans!! I won't bore you with that. 

I cast to the edge of the faster flow, mid river. A bite on the cheesepaste kept me interested, popping up like a Jack in the box. Tom tried the whole area, and stealing my chair and superior rod rest soon found a deep hole where a pioe was sure to be laying up. 
We fished on, the only action was a large fish surfacing mid river. I only just glimpsed it, I think it was a Trout taking something off the surface. 

It was soon time to pack up, trebles of course removed from deadbaits going back in the freezer. Not sure what the deadbait was, but it wasn't Jack Spratt. 

A slow walk uphill followed by a perfectly packed car. A trip to the tackle shop on the way back to renew our club memberships.
Unfortunately the final Jack was our catches. Jack sh&t! 

Saturday 10 February 2024

Gone in 60 minutes

Date fished 10/02/2024

8am until 9am

Flooding, family and friends have been the reasons no fishing for a while. A uni mate came up for the weekend, days out with the kids and more water/snow/ice than the country knows what to do with.  

The weather was mild but after a week of rain, the rivers were high. As the Derwent is tidal, I wondered if it would be fishable. I set off for an early start. The river was similar in height and speed (flow) to last time I fished it. The big difference was the colour. It was gin clear last time and tea coloured today! 

I trotted the float and fed quite heavy. Thinking the more maggots, the more chance of the fish seeing them. 

I kept to one line near my bank and going towards a bush. 

One hour later, no bites, cold feet but I left happy! Weird, I must be some sort of fishing geek.