The Third Age Angler Posts

At the beginning of writing this blog I wrote in the About page that my main hobby was sailing and that I had gone back to fishing because I couldn’t sail last year. This year sailing is back on the agenda and I have been getting the boat ready over the last couple of weeks after nearly two years out of the water. I have not been at the sailing club all day every day but when you are fixing things there is only so much that you can do each day before you have to bring more tools or buy stuff that you need. It’s a good job that I only live thirty minutes drive from the boat!

Anyway, during this time I was thinking about what to write for this week and I started comparing fishing and sailing. They have a lot in common as they are both outdoor activities that involve water! The weather is also important to both and I would have to say that for me fishing has the edge as with a bivvy or umbrella you can stay out in the kind of conditions that would have me sailing for home pretty quickly! Both activities have clubs, although you don’t have to join one and you can do both with friends or on your own. One difference is that you have to have a licence to go fishing but not sailing. Strange as it may seem anyone can buy a boat and sail off into the distance without any training whatsoever and sometimes people do. They are often, but not always, the ones that you see on those lifeboat rescue programmes on TV!

Then there is the cost and believe me that despite what you hear about “carp tax” sailing is a far more expensive hobby! For me the annual subscription for my angling club is well under £100 and that is all the annual expenses I have, anything else is bait and new gear. I pay £850 per annum for my sailing club but that does include a mooring on the river for my boat and a space in the dinghy park for my sailing dinghy. If you think that is a lot then mooring my boat into a marina would cost three times as much and if I moved her to the Solent, the Mecca of English sailing, you could double that again! Then there is insurance for both boats which is another £300 so I have already spent well over £1000 without actually stepping on my boat! Then there are the ongoing costs, diesel, oil, filters, mooring fees if you visit somewhere else, repairs because things break, improvements because you want to make the boat better etc. etc.

Because mine is a self-help sailing club where everyone mucks in together the fees are pretty low and they can be even less with a smaller, older boat but you always have to be aware of the ongoing fixed costs. Older boats are not worth much and people are now giving them away in order to stop paying the storage fees on them. Of course you can always spend much more on your boat and gear than I do, just like you can for fishing. You can buy a new rod from Sports Direct for £11.99 or pay hundreds for a top name brand but just to give you some idea of the cost difference between sailing and fishing here is a comparison.

A Fox winter suit £174.99 from Angling Direct. This is high quality carp gear which will keep you warm and dry. Force 4 Chandlery will sell you a Musto coastal suit which will also keep you warm and dry in normal conditions for £289 or an Offshore suit for more extreme conditions for £469 and you can pay more, much more!

How about shorts? Musto Evolution Performance shorts at £99.95 compared to the highest price on Angling Direct of £39.99. Or Scierra Tracer Wading Shoe Cleated Sole for £109.99 when they are in stock compared to Dubarry Ultima sailing boot for £278.95. 

It is hard to make other direct comparisons between the sports but the overall picture is one of higher prices for sailing and even if you are doing it on a shoestring it is still more expensive. I noticed that a replacement pair of sailing wellies is going to cost me £69 so I hope mine are going to last a few more years yet! 

So, where does this leave me? Hopefully going fishing next week as the weather forecast is not great for sailing, chilly, rainy, low pressure, maybe the carp will be biting, I will let you know!

Uncategorized

I live just a few minutes away from one of the club’s lakes or should I say ponds which I have driven past hundreds of times over the years and only occasionally seen anyone fishing there. It is rather neglected and the banks are overgrown and there is only one fishable swim and even that is overhung by low trees and bushes. To make matters worse the pond itself is overgrown with weed which grows right up to the surface and makes it unfishable. I did try in the autumn and again a couple of times in the winter when the weed had died down a bit, I even took a rake over there and pulled out loads of weed but as soon as I did that it was replaced by other weed! I didn’t catch anything, in fact I didn’t even have a bite so you could say that I had unfinished business there!

I noticed on the club’s Facebook site that one or two people have been fishing there recently and have caught a variety of small fish so I decided to give it another go. When I got there, would you believe it, there was already an angler there occupying the swim. We had a chat and he told me that he had caught a few and then I went home determined to come back another time. It was a quiet evening a few days later when I was able to get back with the minimum of tackle and a chair. The first few casts didn’t go well, I caught a tree branch, another tree branch and a third tree branch! On the last occasion I lost my hook but managed to reclaim my float. Tackling up again and being more careful I managed to get my hook in the water and started tidying up around me and getting everything to hand. I was fishing with home made maggots as hook bait and throwing a few in the water around the float. My expectations weren’t high so I was a bit slow when the float started to move but still managed to land the smallest tench you have ever seen! My duck was broken!

A quick photo for evidence and it was plopped back in the pond and I was casting out again only to see the float dithering about again and it was another tench, slightly bigger. I decided to change the float for a lighter one and managed to find a canal type float in my box with a very fine tip. This made it difficult to see against the reflection of the reeds opposite but by craning my head I could managed to keep track of it as it slowly drifted across the pond. There was no chance of fishing on the bottom because of the weed, you had to fish above it.

The finer float didn’t make a lot of difference, bites were tentative and I was often left wondering if it was really a bite or not but mostly when I struck there was a fish on the end. 

I kept feeding the swim with a few loose maggots and also some sweetcorn and was getting a bite every few minutes. The tench were slowly getting bigger until I had one that I needed to use the landing net for, he must have been at least half a pound! Then there was a change to a very small carp, a baby mirror carp and then something much bigger was on the end and began taking line from the reel. After a short fight I did need to use the landing net for what I thought was a nice Crucian but which, I was told later, was a brown goldfish. Nice fish though and lovely to see it. Then it was back to tench, a small rudd and I was just thinking of packing up as it was getting too dark to see the float when there was another nice Crucian style fish to end the evening.

I went home well pleased with my trip. Fourteen fish of five different species in just under two hours was much more than I expected and the grin on my face lasted all evening! It was my best session of the year. I will definitely be going back to the pond before the weed grows and makes it unfishable again. At least I ticked off another water where I have caught fish, just three waters where I haven’t caught anything but that is because I haven’t fished them yet!

Uncategorized

One of the things I was looking forward to in my first year back angling was fishing in the spring. The last time I was fishing the close season applied to all waters and I would yearn to be on the bank on those warmer spring days when the leaves were showing, the birds singing and the promise of summer was just around the corner. Unfortunately it has not been like that this year as we have been stuck under a high pressure system for weeks. Yes, it has been sunny and dry, there are even cracks appearing in the ground, and while it may have been warm in other parts of the country it is still chilly here with the north and easterly wind coming over the North Sea making me not want to brave the cold too often!

However, I had the chance to go fishing in the afternoon and evening so despite the wind and the cloud which had arrived I took the opportunity to go to my usual lake to see how it fished at that time of day. When I arrived there was no-one else there and I wondered if they knew something that I didn’t. I set up in one of my usual swims so that I could do a comparison and it had the advantage of being a bit sheltered from the wind as well. I had remembered to bring some other bait so put sweetcorn on the feeder rod with groundbait and home made maggots on the float rod. Soon the float dipped and I had my first fish, a baby roach, so far so normal! Then it went quiet for a spell until another small roach pulled the float under.

During this session I was pestered by the ducks again, while I was sitting still they would come right up to me, between my legs and pecking up groundbait that I had dropped and even tapping on the bait box lids to try and feed there. They became a real nuisance as I had to make sure that the lids were on everything including my tackle box as they even had a go at that! I was also worried about hooking one of them when I was re-baiting or filling up the feeder and even considered moving only I thought that they would just follow me to my new swim. The only thing that would deter them was if I waved my landing net in their direction but they would be back as soon as I put it down. If they weren’t on the bank they were in the swim with their friends swimming across the line and making the float bob. Now, I consider myself as an animal lover but these creatures tried my patience and I did begin to wonder how they would go with plum sauce!

Anyway, back to the fishing. I have written before about not getting the feeder right so decided to use a different bait to see if I could attract bigger fish and it seemed to work, the quiver tip pulled round and it was definitely a bite! Unfortunately I missed it but cast out again to the same spot. I caught another small roach on the float which was getting difficult to see as the clouds had now parted and I was looking directly into the evening sun. Sunglasses helped but made everything else a bit dark! Then the feeder rod twitched again and this time I was into a better fish a nice roach which I landed this time. It was getting towards sunset when my phone rang, it was my sister telling me about our parents. They are both in their nineties and their health is beginning to go which is causing problems. We were chatting away when I realised that I couldn’t see my float, I checked the rod tip and the line was jerking about so I put the phone down and struck. I could tell that this was a different fish by the way it felt but soon had it into the landing net where the hook obligingly fell out! It was a small carp which was attracted to the sweetcorn I had changed to for a while. It was the last fish of the day and as the sun slowly slipped under the horizon I took off my dark glasses, packed up and went home.

A slightly better roach on the feeder

So, what did I prove? That the fish didn’t come on to feed in the evening, that I could catch on the feeder and that you can’t get away from life’s problems even if you are fishing! I also decided that I have had enough of the ducks and will go back to trying new waters until I have achieved my target of fishing them all. I just hope that it warms up a bit over the coming weeks, after all it will be May soon and I want to fulfil my dream of fishing on those warm spring days!

A small carp but the biggest fish I have caught this year!

Uncategorized

The weather here out on the East Coast has been sunny but cold with frosts at night and a biting easterly wind. Looking at the club’s catch reports some people have been catching but many more have been blanking. Anyway I had enough of waiting for the weather to break so decided not to continue to visit new waters and visit my go to lake where I always manage to catch something.

When I arrived it was still quite early and I was the only one there. One of the advantages of this venue is that you can park right next to the lake and don’t have to carry your gear far! I was soon set up with my feeder rod fishing further out than my float rod in the hope of catching something bigger than the usual baby roach. I had previously lobbed in some groundbait and maggots and had maggots on the hook. Soon the float bobbed away and I was into my first fish, a baby roach! Still, it was better than blanking! That was the pattern of the day really, I lost count of the number that I caught and some were bigger than others but nothing special. Still, I was catching! I couldn’t try any other bait as I realised that I had left it in the freezer once again!

I still haven’t quite got the hang of this feeder lark. I have now got my tangles sorted out and fished all session without problems. The bit that I am still struggling with is bite indication, sometimes I get a quick tap or even double tap then nothing, thinking it is a line bite I leave it for a while but when I pull the feeder in there is a baby roach on the hook. I am not sure whether it pulled the quiver tip over when it picked up the hook and just sat there afterwards or if it just happened to pick up the bait as I was reeling in. 

This is the lake where I usually get bothered by swans but they were not around. Instead some friendly ducks came around and I also had a visit from a peacock. I had spilt some maggots while filling up the feeder and while I was concentrating on the float I felt a presence beside me and turning slowly I saw a peacock having a feed. He stayed a few minutes and went off, unlike the ducks who were completely unafraid of me and were eating maggots next to me and around my feet. Later in the day I heard a noise behind me and saw that they were in my pellets tin helping themselves! I was also visited by a robin and saw a buzzard in the distance so decided to get my compact camera out and try to get an elusive picture. This didn’t work out as when I turned the camera on it said. “Replace the batteries” and immediately turned off. So much for that idea!

It was getting on in the afternoon and I was thinking about packing up when my hand was forced by a tangle which was the cue to start getting my gear together. Although I hadn’t caught anything large I had been catching all day and getting some practice after a fairly long lean spell. I had a nice day sitting in the sun, hadn’t got cold and had taken some interesting photos and will go back to visiting new waters next time.

Uncategorized

Not managed to go fishing this week so just some general thoughts. Our club’s Facebook page has had quite a discussion about discarded tackle, in particular rigs which have been cast across to an island and caught in the bushes and been left dangling with the bait in easy reach for ducks. They have had to launch boats several times to either rescue a hooked duck or remove the rigs. Basically what they are saying is that you should learn to cast the proper distance and use a line clip. Reading about the locations where this happened I am pleased that none of them are mine but it did make me feel guilty as I have lost a few method feeders recently! One of the bailiffs posted a YouTube link on how to use the clip which was very informative and so I am determined to do better in future and become a better angler!

The other regular posts which come up are, leaving litter on the bank and not locking the gates behind you when you leave. I am sure that our club is not the only one that has these issues although I have to say that for me personally I can’t understand why anyone would do either of these things but then I guess that is the way I was brought up! Taking care of the environment is such a natural thing to do that it shouldn’t need explaining and as for gates you should always leave them as you find them, which in the club’s case is locked. Several reasons for this including security and keeping strangers off club waters. As far as the landowners are concerned they don’t want to wake up one morning and find a load of caravans parked next to their lake!

Now to photos. I want to record the fish that I catch and the places that I have fished and for this my smart phone is ideal. In fact my photos on my computer have become a diary of my life and a way of checking where and when things have happened. Such a change from when I had to scrape together the money to buy a film and have it developed and I was very careful with what I actually photographed, now I literally have tens of thousands of pictures. Anyway, I digress, as I said the phone is fine for most things but it doesn’t have a telephoto lens, sure you can use the digital zoom but the quality of the picture soon deteriorates. I like taking pictures and use them on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts and as I have said I get to see nature and would like to have some decent pictures which the phone can’t manage. I have got a very good bridge camera but the idea of taking it to the bank where it can get wet and muddy doesn’t appeal so I have been wondering what to do. Then I remembered that tucked away in a drawer somewhere I have a small compact camera so I found it and had a look. Now I bought this camera some years ago just before phones with cameras came out and made them redundant so I haven’t used it much. To my delight I found that it has an optical zoom and I tried it out from the bedroom window but as I live on an estate I can’t see far so haven’t really much idea whether it will be any good. The only thing to do is to take it with me and see how it performs, I will let you know!

Lastly, I have been thinking about this business of putting a carp rod out while I am float or quiver tip fishing. I thought that I would have a go at catching carp after seeing other anglers catching them and so bought a rod and was lucky enough to catch almost immediately last summer. My catch rate diminished during the autumn and so I gave up on carp and concentrated on river fishing but have gone back to still waters in the close season and have had my carp rod out again but with no luck. Our club waters are not highly stocked with carp and you won’t be pulling one out every five minutes so patience is needed and that is something that I don’t have when fishing, I like to be doing something even if I am not catching anything. What I am worried about is by having two different styles of rods out am I not concentrating on either one properly? Was my success last summer just a fluke? If I put two carp rods out what will I do then? I suppose that I could take a book to pass the time but I could sit at home and read. So the question is, what do carp anglers do to pass the time? I am still mulling this over and would appreciate any comments below. 

Well, that’s it for this week, quite a long blog for not going fishing! I hope that I will be back on the bank for next week!

Uncategorized

As my target this season is to fish all the club’s waters I went to another new one this week. There are two lakes next to each other and the one that I hadn’t fished was a long thin shallow lake fed by a stream. It was a beautiful day and I got up early for me as I had to go and visit my mum in the afternoon as we are now allowed to meet outdoors so I couldn’t stay late. As I was walking to my swim I passed a young man with a bivvy up and his carp gear out, I stopped for a chat, as you do and his buzzer sounded and he was on to a fish. He was happy for me to stay while he brought in the fish and was pleased with a high single figure carp. I took a photo for him and went off to my swim thinking that was a great start to the day!

I set up the carp rod and as I had no method feeders left I decided to try using PVA bags which I had got with a job lot of tackle off eBay and which I had never used. I found it quite straightforward, probably due to watching all those YouTube videos and cast across to near the opposite bank. Then it was time to set up my float rod and feed the swim a bit before sitting down with a cuppa. Nothing much happened, I re-cast the carp rod, checked the maggots, had a chat with the ever present ducks and enjoyed sitting in the sun. Then I got a bite, a small roach which led me to expect that I would start catching some more but it was not to be.

As there was nothing from the carp rod I decided to pre-bait an area next to my swim under a tree and try there in a little while. Still nothing else on the float rod so I tried different depths, different baits, bread then sweetcorn but still nothing. I had been noticing some small fish jumping and the V shape on the surface of the water where they were swimming just below and a little while later the float dipped and I was into a small perch. Not the smallest I have ever caught but certainly a contender! I moved my carp rod to the baited area but no luck. I am always surprised how fast the time goes on the bank even if I am not catching much. I think this is because I enjoy being out in the country looking at the birds and other wildlife and because I am always thinking what else I can try to catch more fish. 

Soon it was time to pack up and stop to chat to the anglers I passed who told me that they were having even less luck than me. I saw on the club’s Facebook site later that evening that the young man caught another carp after I had left so he had something out of the day. Thinking about my session I was pleased that I didn’t blank but not pleased that having caught one roach I didn’t catch more. Perhaps it is still a bit cold or maybe the sunshine put them off, that would be a shame as I like fishing on warm sunny days! Also I haven’t caught a carp this year despite having my rods out several times. I am beginning to wonder whether having a float rod and a carp rod out at the same time is such a good idea, perhaps I should concentrate on one or the other, I would certainly have less gear to carry!

They are such beautiful fish!

Uncategorized

I was a bit peeved that I had not caught anything last time out so a few days later I went back to the same venue. This time I chose to fish in the furthest lake and had a chance to try out my new rucksack, which was great. It was fairly comfortable and sat securely and was not too heavy and left my arms free for rods, chair and unhooking mat.

There weren’t too many swims to choose from as the lake is quite small, longish and narrow in shape so I sat myself down in the sun and away from overhanging trees so that I wouldn’t cast into them! I set my carp rod up more quickly this time, having had a practice last time and decided to go for the method feeder with a popup boilie. Once that was done it was time to get the float rod out and do a bit of active fishing! It was not too deep, say about 5-6ft so manageable with my 10ft rod. First cast and almost immediately I had a fish, a roach, small but not a tiny one and definitely worth catching, no blank for me today!

Not the biggest but worth catching!

The next fish took a little while but after that they kept coming at regular intervals and I ended up with eleven for the session. In between catching I kept filling up the method feeder and casting around trying to find the fish. Then I saw a decent carp cruising along by the opposite bank so I quickly retrieved my gear and cast towards the fish. The lake was just too wide for me to cast underarm so it was an overarm effort straight into the trees on the opposite bank! By the time I had retrieved the line, minus the feeder, the carp was nowhere to be seen so I tackled up again steadily and tried to cast as far as I could towards where it had been.

The day wore on, even though I was a long walk from the car park one or two anglers came to see me and have a chat. A little bit of me was pleased that they were blanking on the lake I had fished earlier in the week and I was catching! The forecast wind didn’t pick up and it was a delightful day, the sun was warm and the birds were singing. I saw a buzzard gliding over the lakes and tried to take a picture with my camera phone but it didn’t come out very well, I resolved to take my proper camera in future. This lake was free of swans, thank goodness but had its fair share of ducks, they would swim by every so often and looked interested when I threw some groundbait in but wouldn’t come too near me. The afternoon passed with me catching a roach just often enough to keep me interested and I was thinking that it would soon be time for me to pack up. One last underhand cast with the method feeder and crack! It was gone! Two lost today and no more in my box! As it was getting towards home time I put the rod away and concentrated on the float for a few minutes. I got a bite, struck and missed it, the line wrapped itself in an almighty tangle around the tip of the rod and that was that. One look showed me that it was going to take ages to unravel by which time it would be time to leave so I decided to do it at home.

Thinking about the day I realised that I often went home with one rod or another in a tangle and that is what makes me stop for the day. None of this “One last cast,” business more, “One last tangle” for me! I have to say that it is easier to sort it out on the bench in my shed rather than on the bank. To be honest it usually consists of cutting the line, saving the hook length if possible and rethreading the rod ready for next time. The line still seems OK on the reel but one day I will have to buy some more as I will have used it all up!

Still not many signs of spring, the ducks are hanging around hopefully!

Uncategorized

The river season is over until June, the days are getting longer and lighter, the club’s Facebook page is showing carp that have been caught so it is time to go back to the still waters and see what I can catch. 

The Facebook page had a thread about your targets for the year, the replies were all about increasing your personal best or catching more fish. I put that I wanted to fish all the club’s waters and then catch a fish in each one. I was told that was a good idea for a new member and so with that in mind I set out for somewhere I hadn’t fished before. It is a series of three lakes on a connecting stream and I had a good walk round before I picked somewhere to fish. I chose a nice sheltered spot with a reed bed a little way in front, eventually remembered how to set up my carp outfit and also put a float rod out and waited expectantly. After a while I moved the carp rod and fished in a different place as I remembered the saying that you have to find the fish in the winter. Then I changed the depth on the float rod, put in some more maggots and groundbait. Time passed without a bite.

I decided to have a go with the feeder rod. I have almost got to the point where it doesn’t get tangled any more and I feel pleased with myself about that. Still nothing, not a bite, not a twitch. I decided it was time for my fail safe remedy to get a bite and as it was now lunchtime  I got my flask and sandwiches out, still nothing. It was nice sitting in the sun and I was getting warm so off came some layers, soon I would be fishing in a T shirt! The swans came to see me, as they usually do, a buzzard glided overhead in the distance, some ducks quacked friskily and a swan chased a Canada goose right across the lake but I still didn’t catch anything. Mindful of the saying about if you do the same thing and expect different results I tried out different rigs and tweaked my setup with no result. To be honest I was getting bored. I went for a walk to look at moving to a different swim but there wasn’t much time left so I stayed. I had a chat with a couple of other anglers who were also blanking. I don’t know if that made me feel better or worse. Better in that I was not the only one, worse that nobody was catching any fish.

Eventually it was time to pack up. On the drive home I reflected on my day, I think it was the first proper blank I have had since I started fishing again and I didn’t like it. Previously I have caught at least a minnow or baby perch or even missed a bite but today it was nothing. So, was I wasting my time? I have read on forums about the benefit to your mental health that fishing has, how it is good to get out of the house, get away from the missus, have some “me” time and all of this may be true but I go fishing to catch fish, and I didn’t. I can do all of the above by walking three minutes from my house and be out in the country, I don’t need to go fishing for that. I go fishing for that moment where the float dips, the quiver tip twitches or the alarm buzzes. That moment when you pick up the rod and feel something alive on the end of the line. What is it? How big is it? Will I land it or will it come off? All this is still new to me and still exciting. That’s what I go fishing for.

So, was it a waste of a day? No, I did spend a day outdoors doing what I enjoy. I learned that you can’t always be successful. In everyday life we are usually in control, the car starts when you turn the key, the TV comes on when you press the remote, the shopping is delivered to your front door. Angling reminds us that nature is greater than we are and we don’t control it. You can do all the right things but still not get the result that you want. Blanking is a lesson learned and anyway there is always next time!

Not much sign of spring in the trees and hedgerows so perhaps it was a bit early to be catching much!

Uncategorized

Although the title is winter break I have actually been fishing a bit recently in the river but haven’t caught anything remarkable, just a few roach and plenty of minnows. The river is closed now so it will be off to the club’s still waters when the weather brightens up a bit. Interestingly enough the club’s Facebook page is showing carp being caught now so I might well get my carp rods out, which brings me neatly to the subject of this week’s blog – luggage.

When I first started fishing again I used an old ex-army knapsack and my Shakespeare tackle box. When I walked down to the canal I put everything on an old sack barrow and was quite comfortable pulling it. When I moved on to my first lake the swims were near to the car park and I managed to get my gear to the bank without too much trouble. Then I saw people catching carp and thought that I would have a go by having a carp rod out and float fishing at the same time. This worked well until I went to a new lake where all the swims near the car park were taken and I had to walk a hundred yards to a vacant swim, twice as I couldn’t carry everything at once. I wasn’t happy with having to do this both as a waste of time and effort and because it meant leaving some of my gear unattended on the bank. I was also visiting other club lakes to look round and several of them had long walks from the car park so if I was going to fish them I needed to be able to carry my gear.

At this time I still wasn’t sure if I was going to keep up with fishing and so didn’t want to spend too much money. I briefly considered a carp barrow and dismissed the idea. I looked at rucksacks from angling suppliers and they were not cheap and often not in stock. In the end I bought a NGT bag from eBay for £27.50. It was enormous so I could get everything in it and it seemed extremely well made and I was very happy with it until I started to use it. The problem was that I needed three hands, one for my rods, one for my chair and one for my bag. I thought I could get over this by using the shoulder strap and still have two hands free but it didn’t quite work out like that. The first problem was in lifting the bag up, it was really heavy! The next issue was that with the bag over my shoulder it was rather uncomfortable, swinging about and digging into my side, this was bearable for a few minutes but not on a longer walk but I soldiered on with it until my winter break when I had time to think about it.

I looked on YouTube, blogs and forums for ideas and found some good advice. The most important one being that you don’t have to take all your stuff with you each time you go fishing! Simple, I know but if you just take what you need then there is less to carry. This then led on to thinking that if you had less to carry you could have a smaller bag or rucksack. I practised this during my winter trips to the river by taking my rods already made up and an ordinary backpack and found that I really did have all that I needed. Soon I made up my mind, I needed a rucksack, not too small so that I could get everything in it, not too big so that I could lift it up and carry it! I searched the Internet and ended up buying another NGT product as I was impressed with the quality of their bag and it arrived yesterday, £34.50 including postage and at first sight it looks ideal. Of course as soon as it arrived I had to have a play with it, some things fitted in the pockets where I wanted them to go while other things didn’t. A bit of rearrangement and I think that I have a place for everything. Once again I am happy but only time will tell if I have made the right choice this time for my angling journey. Anyone want to buy a large holdall!

I am hoping that this is the final solution!

Uncategorized

When I first thought about going fishing again I was pleasantly surprised with the gear that I still had and used it for a few weeks. Thanks to YouTube videos, angling forums and tackle websites I soon realised that I needed more tackle! Some of it I genuinely did need, like rods, reels and a landing net for carp fishing and other stuff was to replace old gear or because I was persuaded that I needed it!

Anyway, where to buy? I am lucky enough to live in a town which still has an independent tackle shop but the problem was that half the time it was closed because of lockdown and anyway I wasn’t going into shops as we were shielding because of my wife’s health, which left the Internet, namely Amazon, eBay and specialist shops. The trouble with the tackle shops is that lots things were out of stock. Thousands of new or returning anglers, the effect of Covid, a shortage of shipping containers, BREXIT etc. etc. meant that I would look for something, find it and then see that it wasn’t available. This led me to eBay where there is always a lot of fishing tackle for sale but as always you have to trust the seller’s description. This is usually accurate with new stuff but for auctions it can vary. Take floats for instance, I bought several job lots of floats for reasonable prices, much less than if I had bought them individually in the shop. The trouble is that I will never use most of them, just like the person who sold them to me I expect! When I have weeded out the bent, broken and useless ones I would have saved money by just buying a few new ones that I needed! I bought several other job lots of tackle which always included things I didn’t want so I will be selling them on eBay once the new season starts!

While I was getting ready to write this week’s Blog I had a look at my purchase history on eBay and gave myself a shock! I hadn’t realised just how much tackle I had bought! Fortunately, neither does the Missus! 

I won’t go into detail about everything I bought on eBay and will just pick out a few things. When I was looking at carp reels I found a Yumoshi reel direct from China at a price of £11.91. I thought I would take a chance at that price and was amazed by the quality when it arrived. Of course by then I had another reel delivered and was using that so it is still in the box!

The Yumoshi reel – too much of a bargain to ignore!

I have bought quivertips, leads, feeders and rod bags, all used and perfectly good. I was particularly pleased with my three rod bag for £20 which looked unused and had even been sprayed with Febreze or something before it was dispatched, it smelled lovely!

This was a great bargain, room for three rods all made up, small pockets on the front and long ones on the back for another rod or bank sticks

My best deal though was a couple of Sonik DominatorX 12 ft carp rods. Posting rods can be tricky and expensive so they often go for reasonable money. I spotted the DominatorXs for sale in my town and put in a cheeky bid and was surprised to find that I had won! I got in touch with the seller who was happy for me to come and collect them as it saved him packing and posting them. When I got there I was led out to his garage where he kept all his gear neatly in top quality luggage, I passed over the cash, he passed over the rods and I was away. When I got home I looked at the rods and they were immaculate! I paid £37.89 for the pair, they are selling for £79.99 each! What a bargain!

Its difficult to take a good photo of a rod so here is a close up of the label

Anyway, I can ramble on for ages about what I bought but that would get boring so I will leave it there. Suffice it to say that sometimes you get a bargain on eBay and sometimes you get stung so be careful!

Uncategorized