Colin Mitchell, in his popular weekly general coarse fishing blog examines the good, the bad and the downright ugly experiences on the bank.

SOME days when fishing I wish I was like Clint Eastwood… you know: ‘Hey punk you have to ask yourself are you feeling lucky, or do you think I have a great big stick and I will whack you with it.’

Or at least words to that effect as with my Dirty Harry impression without a Magnum (that’s a gun and not the ice cream).

One of those days was last week when sadly the punk I would love to have had a word with had already disappeared. Sadly, in the car park of the fishery he’d left behind a reminder that he had been there: four nappy bags filled with dog poo.

Bagging up with dog poo is not really my idea of bagging up, but....!

Bagging up with dog poo is not really my idea of bagging up, but….!

Now as if that wasn’t bad enough, this club water is behind locked gates and a fence. So… it was either someone walking their dog who had been trespassing or a club member who should know a lot better!

Either way Music Mike and I would love to have returned his lost bags through his letter box but we had to settle for dropping them in a bin liner and then into a dog poo bin on the way home.

And now for the ugly

Right if that was the Bad…here’s the Ugly (Geddit? Good, Bad and the Ugly, continuing on the Clint theme)…

On a different club venue I saw a guy take ages to land a carp on his pole and then just lift it in his landing net onto the ground. Errr… where was the unhooking mat or why not just hold the landing net between your legs for a quick unhooking so the fish didn’t have to be put on the ground?

And then, having unhooked the fish, he sort of hoisted it underarm back into the water. What was wrong with releasing it gently back into the margins?

Now this guys is doing things the right way...the idiot near me wasn't though!

Now this guy is doing things the right way…the idiot near me wasn’t though!

Did I say anything? Of course I did! Come on, wouldn’t you protect the stocks you have paid to fish for and stand up for fish which we as anglers are meant to be safeguarding?

That was my Good bit – but sadly I was just met with a glazed eye look. And before you ask, yes I did feel like giving him the same treatment as the carp got and launching him into the lake. Sadly this club has a no swimming policy on its waters.

Knowledge is power

Right this week’s rant over… well almost, as once again I have been gobsmacked at how much of the freely available angling knowledge just isn’t taken up and used wisely.

Feeding, as most anglers know, is key to success and it’s usually a case of trickling it in all the time unless the fish are starving then you give it to them big time. It is very rare that you don’t feed at all, especially at this time of the year.

As I sat catching a steady stream of roach, bream and carp an angler half a dozen pegs away next to a lush bed of lilies sat motionless, just like his float. He came to see how I was catching and I was only too willing to reveal my rigs, hook size, baits and feeding pattern.

The guy went back to his swim and once again sat there like a garden gnome. If he was still there now he probably still wouldn’t have fed anything… He had all the gear but he may as well have left his pole roller at home.

Pole rollers are not there to look flash!

Pole rollers are not there to look flash!

A roller is there not just to keep your pole off the ground so it doesn’t get damaged or to help you feed the pole back easily for unshipping.

A roller – or rollers if you are on a really long pole – is there to support the weight of the pole so that no one section gets under too much pressure and then snap. My bankside neighbour thought the roller was there to act as a rest for his pole or just for show.

When he shipped back the heavy back sections hung with a horrifying bend in them before he took off his top kit and then just let the whole lot crash to the deck and the front end stick up in the air.

I got the impression if I had gone along and politely suggested he looked at my pole roller set up I would have got a blank stare.

It was time to go home… maybe when I stopped feeding the fish might have ventured six pegs along the bank for a short time!

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