THE hot topic in this week’s mag is undoubtedly, once again, our furry friend the otter and Danny Fairbrass’ plan to beat the predation problem.

Blog BHMBefore I go on, I would like to point out that at no point does the Mail or Danny suggest any sort of cull or population control measures.

Quite the opposite; Danny’s plan to set up otter-proof fisheries around the country will enable fish, man and otter to exist together in areas where one, usually the otter, previously ruled the roost.

Personally, I think this compromise is a great plan and I hope it succeeds, despite the inevitable criticism from an ill-informed (yet vocal) minority. Talking of which, one of my biggest irritants in angling is keyboard warriors with no idea about the facts or full story, commenting as though they’re some sort of guru on any given subject…otters in particular seem to attract moronic comments which go against the generous and inclusive spirit of the sport of angling.

But we’ll only know in coming months and years, when the promised fisheries are set up, if the scheme is a success. Needless to say, we’ll keep you informed with significant developments.

However, as one reader rightly pointed out: what about the rivers, drains and canals that are also affected by otter predation? Being a passionate river angler, it deeply saddens me to see river stocks declining and the problem is getting worse.


The cormorant I watched hunting on the Thames just metres away from crowds of people in Surrey in broad daylight recently reinforced how serious the problem is, even leaving otter predation to one side, and I hope the Angling Trust succeed in their long-running campaign to control numbers of the fish-eating birds.

Talking of rivers, there’s not long now until the season opens and I’ve been busy prepping kit and walking the banks, spotting lots of fish that will undoubtedly disappear on June 15 at 11.59 pm.

Below is a shot of big common carp feeding in the margins of the Thames, again in broad daylight by a crowded bank, without a care in the world. Thankfully too big for a cormorant to tackle, I hope to make its acquaintance again this summer!




thumbsupLIKE OF THE WEEK: Five weeks (or 35 days) until the river season opens… 

thumbsdown1DISLIKE OF THE WEEK: Bob James’ career seems to have flourished a couple of years after his May barbel fishing exploits, something that angered many passionate river anglers. He’s been racking up magazine appearances (including a recent cover shot) and, personally, this mystifies me as his stature as a role model and much-admired angler all but evaporated when he committed a deeply dishonorable act. His punishment? A season of fishing for nothing but F1s at his local muddy hole would suffice… or just ban him from holding a rod licence for a few years, as should be the case for serious offences.




It’s a four-hour epic from Fox International this week in the shape of their new Edges DVD!