Our popular general coarse angling blogger, Colin Mitchell, is back with a look at what happened in and around his swim on a recent pleasure session.

THIS is a story of those morons who get angling a bad name – and those idiots who show anglers and our sport little respect!

Yes it’s a full-blooded moan, groan and whinge. And please feel free to join in with your own comments!

Stargazer John and I went for a late evening session on the River Thames – knowing full well that the sun would hinder our chances until it sank below the horizon.

We also knew that boats would be a bit of a problem until a few hours after we arrived.

So let’s start first with our swim selection.

Although there is plenty of room and free fishing on the lower Thames it’s not always easy to find a nice bit of bank. But we did…

Sadly some other idiots had been there before us and left pile of unsightly litter ranging from drink cans and food wrappers to line, empty tackle and hook packets.

Happy picnickers were not responsible for leaving what I saw.

Happy picnickers were not responsible for leaving what I saw.

No we can’t pass the buck to picnickers or anyone else. This was left by so-called anglers not showing the respect they should to the countryside.

Picnic people don’t squeeze into a seat-box area next to the river and they don’t leave line, hook and float packs.

It’s difficult to police public venues but anyone discovered dropping crap like this should have their fishing licence removed – at the very least.

Angry at elements of the armada

First rant over and let’s move on to the vast assortment of boats that created an armada.

The river does not belong to anglers: but it is a shared facility that where everyone should respect other water users.

With the exception of just two boats from many different sizes shapes of craft there was very little respect for us anglers.

The rowers – scullers, coxed pairs and even fours – did their very best to avoid where they thought our lines were and their coaches advised them away from us when they spotted us hidden in the undergrowth.

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A rare moment of peace and quiet in my swim on the Lower Thames.

But the part-time admirals in their smaller craft didn’t give a jot for anyone else, dodged all over the river in many cases and broke the speed limit creating wash that erodes the banks.

Many of the larger craft were also well over the limit – you’d have been hard pushed to keep up with them if you were riding a bike along the towpath.

And there were also a number of ‘pleasure’ cruisers with music belting out with the amplifier turned up to 11.

Sorry, but even for a massive music fan like me that is totally out of order – especially as it wasn’t good old rock or blues!

So where were the river police? Didn’t see any all evening!

Some cruisers kept their speed down... so many went full steam ahead!

Some cruisers kept their speed down… but so many went full steam ahead!

Thankfully as the sun faded over the tree-lined horizon the boats eased and in the fading light we caught roach, perch and skimmers – but I wasn’t happy losing a very big fish, probably one of the bream which we were after.

Still, once we had enjoyed a moan about the inconsiderate boaters, caught a few fish and bantered between ourselves we topped the night off with a lovely pint of Doombar in the aptly named The Minnow pub!

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