collettperchTuesdays blog is from Steve Collett, the boss of leading online tackle retailers Harris Sportsmail.

Steve’s blogs focus mainly on match fishing but also delve into his styles of pleasure fishing and specialist angling. He also appears regularly in Angler’s Mail magazine.

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The bad run continues


I DIDN’T fancy fishing this weekend for the first time I can remember – the River Soar has been horrible to me and I am having a major strop and throwing toys everywhere.

So when that horrible call came during the week, my heart sank – Samantha and I would be fishing the next round of the Winter League.

But come Friday and things started to look up – it could be cancelled as the river is a funny old cow, and she is up and down like a whores draws within hours, but the organisers would have to make a decision and they did, I prayed for a cancellation, but it was switched to the canal instead, and it changed my mind. I was actually looking forward to it now.

So with the “cut” in mind we, well I, headed to the draw all happy and full of the joys of team fishing! Whilst Samantha wanted to go carp fishing somewhere and had a face like a dace!

The canal we would be fishing is the Grand Union that runs through Loughborough, and has many a varied section, from the picturesque to the grotesque but has lots of fish in parts and it looked like it was going to be a good match, if only I could enjoy a change of fortune at the draw bag. It has to happen, the probability factor must come into play and I should draw on fish…

Stunning countryside in Loughborough

Stunning countryside in Loughborough

Have a guess what happens next, the only place you do not want to be on a cold windy morning is a section known as the factory walls,  and who should draw it? Me, sounds idyllic doesn’t it, 30ft high factory walls resembling colditz or parkhurst, but there are a few flyers, maybe I could be on one? Have a guess: No. I’m pegged next to a flyer, the peg to my left has a bridge, reeds, far bank cover, I have a wall, and a skip behind me.

Whilst trying to not block off the footpath, an impossibility in itself as I had 12” of towpath – try fitting a Rive box in that – behind me was a guiness world record attempt at making frigging noise. The scrapyard decided that because I was there, they would drop every bit of noise making metal from a great height into a skip behind me, so picture this, a 30ft high wall, and a skip with scrap metal being dropped into it behind you, it’s like a Constable painting isn’t it!

the factory wall as it says on the tin

The factory wall: as it says on the tin

After the whistle started, the one I couldn’t hear, I was amazed that my float went under and kept going under as squatt fish after squatt fish came to my net. I was ridiculously amazing, I just wish I had a full length mirror, I could have admired myself in this Scotthorne-esque moment, and then that’s where it ends.

I hooked a body! Well it looked like one, it was in fact a hi viz bright yellow jacket on my squatt line, and that then got pulled over my track line, so you can imagine what kind of effin and jeffin was going on around me, so I had to start a new swim.

My “new” swim was like a mangrove, and 13 hooklenghts later I decided to concentrate on my last line – the five metre line – and caught, until…..Captain Jack Sparrow, and Lord friggin Nelson decided to crash their narrow boats in my peg, crushing my keepnet, and basically ruining my peg.

You couldn’t make this up, I sat there and just laughed at the situation, because If I didn’t, I would have self-harmed with chopped worm scissors. Oh and during all of this I forgot to tell you about my new friend the Olympic canoeist who decided to disembark in our swim! On the canal, jeez.

Anyhow, just because I am amazing I didn’t finish last, I have moved up to the dizzy heights of 3rd from last, progress you may say, but with fishing, there is always next week…

I did have a PB bike and a towel rail at 29lb 10oz

I did have a PB bike and a towel rail at 29lb 10oz…

collett match awards

Steve Winter

Steve Winter

I should get it this week really for pure resilience, and not killing other anglers, but I can’t so the phone has been red hot again, and a few great results have come in. On the Soar winter league the winner had 11 kilos with 9 kilos of that being quality roach, great canal fishing.

This weeks winner, though, had to work at it on his latest winter league round on the river Nene, taking 10-9-8 of small roach and skimmers on pinkies over groundbait, at 7 and 11.5m. The Maver Bait-Tech man that is Steve Winter managed to hold on to this great win despite a bonus tench being caught in a weight of 10-9-0 – very close, and great angling, well deserved of this weeks Anglers Mail performance of the week, Steve Winter.




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