Josh Catford, seen with with one of his stories for AM – how chef Marco Pierre White caught the river season’s biggest pike.

WELCOME to the Wednesday blog – each week filled by Angler’s Mail magazine’s HQ, focussing on happenings in the wonderful world of fishing, including latest tackle.

There will be something for everyone – pleasure fishing, carp fishing, match fishing, specialist fishing or anything else. 

This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by Josh Catford, a fisheries studies student who has been with us on a work placement.

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VENUES: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THEY CLAIM… AND WHAT THEY ACTUALLY OFFER

OVER the course of my three weeks here at Anglers Mail HQ, I have been updating the Where to Fish guide on this website.

This job involved me having to research several fisheries in different regions that weren’t included on the website already.

My intensive research threw up some very interesting claims from fisheries, stating that they had fish of a certain size, when in reality, they definitely didn’t. Okay, so some of the ‘claims’ were common ‘typos’, like the fishery that said they had roach of 31 lb (yes, THIRY-ONE POUND!) But the number of fisheries around the entire UK, saying they had roach over 3 lb and crucians over 4 lb was remarkable.

It’s given that some of these bold statements may be true, but I’m 95% certain that a lot of them were just saying that to boost their ticket sales, and therefore make more money, for giving anglers false hope of a fish of a lifetime, which in many ways is very wrong.

I also came across several venues that say they hold 5 lb perch. As we all know a 5 lb perch is a very, very big fish indeed, and for many, will not catch a perch of anywhere near that size. I must have found at least 15 places, with more, more than likely.

There is however certain venues that do indeed hold perch of these sizes, with photographs to prove it, but many of these places keep the fish quiet, as they don’t want the fish to be overfished. This is a sign of good management and a care for their stock.

Rant over! There are, on the other hand, some truly superb fisheries out there, waiting for anglers like yourself to wet, one, two or maybe even three lines in, for you to try your hand at catching some simply awesome fish.

There are so many venues out there with big fish, you don’t have to travel as far as you used to, to try and catch them. OK so everyone knows that carp grow biggest in the south of England, where the weather is ‘supposed’ to be warmer (hard to believe at the moment, I know), but whilst carrying out my research, I did indeed find several Scottish carp fisheries.

It’s truly amazing, how carp fishing has spread, from nothing 10-15 years ago, and now carp is THE fish that (almost) everyone wants to catch. Maybe because of their size, maybe because of certain fish’s looks, maybe it’s even the fight that you gain from playing a large fish on a broomstick of a rod, or a light delicate pole with a light elastic, zipping across the lake.

It’s whatever makes you happy that counts. And if casting over the moon and back and dragging in a 20 lb carp on 12 ft of carbon is what it takes to make you happy, then by all means carry on.

 

Josh Catford started with small roach on a whip…. now he seeks a range of species at bigger sizes, like this zander from Bury Hill Fisheries, Surrey.

I think that certain television series really open people’s eyes to fishing as a whole. Whilst you’ve got extravagant shows like Robson Green, you’ve also got shows like the recent Mr. Crabtree and A Passion for Angling. It is the with books and various different ‘old school’ VHS and DVDs that we should show younger generations what fishing should be about, and that it is not just all about catching carp.

I remember catching my first fish at the age of three, sitting in a white plastic chair, in France, with a three metre telescopic whip in my hand. I had half a pint of mixed maggots beside me, which we bought from a supermarket – I think it was called “E.Leclerc” – and was catching 3 oz roach and rudd, from a small lake, on holiday with my family.

Nowadays, you see youngsters thinking they’ve got to have the tackle they see on the latest DVDs to be able to catch fish. It is unfortunately the world we live in. But the most important thing of all is to carry on doing what you love and make it happen, no matter what it takes.

 

 

AM LIKES OF THE WEEK

Natural baits – maggots, casters and worms are not as unfashionable as you may believe. There’s a superb guide to getting the best out of them in the new Angler’s Mail magazine.

Posters to combat illegal fishing – well done to the Angling Trust for producing new posters in FIVE languages. Find out more here.

 

AM DISLIKE OF THE WEEK

No more river fishing – what a shame it will be nearly three months now until June 16 when we can fish rivers again in England and Wales, for coarse fish. The end of the season produced amazing catches, as is seen in the magazine. Check ’em out!

Websites charging high admin fees – it happens with other licences, and it’s happening again with rod licences. Don’t get stung – read the Mail’s latest online story here.

 

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Float fishing is often overlooked these days by pleasure anglers – sadly. But the passion for floats shown by twice Angler’s Mail Matchman of the Year Dave Harrell is there for you to see in this AMTV video.

 

 

 

 

Mail columnist John Bailey has been busy with shows lately, and was collared at one for this video about the Mr Crabtree TV series. He’ll be at the new Northern Angling Show this weekend – special interview with the organiser is in the new Angler’s Mail magazine.

 

 

 

 

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