The Angler's Mail weekly general coarse fishing blogger, Colin Mitchell is back from a carp and catfish session and shares how a dream session can soon play out like a nightmare comedy.

GOOD PLANNING can lead to some of your best fishing adventures – unless, of course, everything goes totally wrong!

Just like it did for us last week…I’d scrutinised the weather app on my phone for days and it was obvious which day was going to be overcast after a long sunny spell.

The conditions were set to be ideal for a bit of catfishing… until I got up early to be greeted by blazing sun!

Oh well, you never know, I thought. Sometimes the cats do nosh during the day and anyway we were planning to stay late when they might just come on the feed.

The right swims… at the wrong time!

So off Music Mike and I went and things did appear to get better when we discovered the swims we wanted were free. Now this is a massive plus because the few times we have visited this venue these spots have always been the best and have always been occupied!

We should have guessed things would not go according to plan…

Still it was a lovely day and there was a nice guy in the adjacent swim and two others arrived not long afterwards who were friendly too. Now our two newcomers did make us wonder when it took them about an hour to set up and they gave up trying to erect their bivvy and put up a brolly instead.


Yes, a bivvy for a day session in the sun. You may find that fine but I think it is strange.

Although it wasn’t as strange as one of the guys sat in his chair and faced INTO his brolly looking away from the water…I then I got the instantly recognisable smell of something a big dodgy being carried along on a plume of smoke. Use your imagination! Clue: it wasn’t the BBQ with burning sausages.

After a few bottles of beer also appeared and then the contents disappeared we did start to wonder if the guy would start to try and walk on water or produce some psychedelic baits.

‘A thousand turbo-charged kids’

Anyway these guys were no trouble at all – which is more than can be said when our peace and quiet was shattered by the late afternoon arrival of what appeared to be a day out from school! Three adults – I will call them that for ease of identification – arrived with a thousands kids.

Well there were about six or seven but they moved around so fast and made so much racket they sounded like thousands. I wasn’t impressed by them swinging out net sized fish or them letting the kids throw the catches back into the water.

Not sure the geese were happy about being chased either and as for one of the landing nets, well that changed from round to oblong after it was smashed into the ground a few times. “Come here Tyler/Ophelia/Moses/Courtnee (names changed to protect the parents)”, doesn’t really work either when a turbo-charged six or seven-year-old has been set free on the lakeside.

I won’t go into all the rules they broke or the fact the fishery owner had to collect a whole pile of rubbish after they have left…


One of the anglers near us whispered quite loud: “Serve them right if one fell in and drowned.”

I would NOT wish that on any child but maybe we could have told them about the fierce Lake Monster that only surfaces if it hears kids screaming and running and then gobbles them up for tea. Just a thought…

Anyway they lasted about two hours before they’d had enough of checking out the wheelies bins, seeing just how fast the geese could run and having satisfied themselves that everyone knew they had been there.

By this time we knew that with the exception of the guy next door to us, who could have been renamed the Pied Piper of catfish, we weren’t going to have the best of fishing days.

Still we had some nice carp, I sneaked a kitten and got something to write about…


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