WELCOME to the Wednesday blog – each week filled by Angler’s Mail magazine’s HQ, focusing on happenings in the wonderful world of fishing, including latest tackle. This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by features editor Richard Howard.

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A FEW years back a pal of mine got seriously ill after fishing with lamprey section, he described it as the most violent bouts of sick he had experienced – real projectile vomiting!

With pike season now in full swing, if you’re cutting up and handling bloody deadbaits or any bait for that matter, do make a point of trying to clean your hands afterwards, especially before eating.

At the recent Tackle & Guns show I had a chance meeting with the man behind Dr Weils – a hand sanitizer, in this weeks Angler’s Mail New Gear feature. It sounds great for anglers as it protects against Weils Disease – Leptospirosis – which can be fatal, but also E-coli, Gastro-Enteritis, Streptococci, Listeria and Influenza viruses like Bird Flu.
Weils disease is transmitted to humans by contact with urine from infected rats. And lets face it, you see more rats on some fisheries than birds nowadays.

As Dr Weils quite rightly pointed out – maggots are hatched/blown on offal or fish, think about the bacteria in rotting meat? A lot of worms come from dung heaps, whilst bloodworm and joker come from the silt of semi-stagnant pools.

God knows what nasties are in lamprey blood – the sole reason we use lamprey for predators is because of that great leak–off of body juices and the scent trail they give off. Either way if it gets into your system it’s bad news.

I’ve been using Krill this season, liquid and powdered forms and oily pellets, and have lost count of the times that I’ve washed my hands in the margins to get rid of any residue, a big ‘no no’ with Weils Disease about, especially before tucking into a packet of crisps or sandwiches.

When you’ve got your ‘fishing head’ on, trying to keep your hands clean is probably one of the last things you’re thinking about until you get struck down. I had two weeks of Gastro-enteritis from dirty sea water last Autumn and it wasn’t good.

A big plus for anglers with the Dr Weils Sanitiser is that it’s a no scent/perfume product so you don’t have the worry about it tainting your hookbait – another big angler worry. Pack a 100 ml bottle of Dr Weils Hand Sanitiser in your bag and you’re well armed. For £4.95 plus £2.20 postage if you buy over the Internet, you get over 600 sprays from each bottle.

Visit: www.drweils.co.uk and you can also read about the symptoms of Weils Disease in case you or a pal are fearing the worst. (Tel: 01902 653636 to find your nearest stockist.)

Fish which pull back

These Channel cats are quick to move in on your pellets.

There’s a very realistic chance of hooking a good Wels catfish.


I’ve been itching to get out on my local tidal river piking over the past few weeks but it’s been up and coloured with the rain we’ve had in the South East – not good for pike. I wish I lived closer to the R.Wye as it certainly looks like it’s been doing a few.

Since my last Blog, we’ve had all sorts of weather in the South East, it snowed whilst I was on the north Kent coast two weeks ago during an Arctic chill, then last week my local November 5 Bonfire display, was flooded off.

In stark contrast a month back I had three days on the lower Ebro, Spain, about 40 km from the mouth and a couple of hours from Barcelona. And the temperature was hovering around 30 degrees! I hadn’t realised how easy it was to hop on a 2 hr 20 min flight with Ryanair with just hand luggage, with a 1 hr plus transfer courtesy of Ebro Sporting Adventures (www.ebrosportingadventures.com) and be fishing their 2 km private stretch of river where you can properly get your string pulled – you’re just not sure what’s going to come a long next. And you can night fish it, which you can’t necessarily do upstream.

You don’t even have to bring your tackle with you as 3 lb rods, Baitrunners, Delkim alarms and a pod are supplied, complete with all the pellets you need. Or heavier gear if you want it.

Now this is the opposite end of the river to the fat cats you’ve seen in a lot of videos and articles, but they are present in the  Tortosa stretch I fished, they’re just a more natural length – two or three foot longer if they’re approaching 200 lb.

There’s a lot of carp present to upper-50s, 20s and 30s are common, but there are also Channel cats, chub, roach, perch, dace, black bass, large mouth bass, seabass, mullet and more.

Flick out a pellet on a running rig and the chances are it’ll rattle off, there’s just an outside chance it might not stop before it spools you, but that’s the fun of it in my book!

Regulars try and fish through and feed off the Channel cats but they do pull your string on light gear, a ‘double’ is big, but a 20 lb specimen is huge and they’re one of those fish that seem as hard as nails. Just watch out for the spines!

For some fun fishing, that’s a short hop away, I’d recommend it. There’s caravan accommodation and a lodge on offer. I’ll certainly be returning to the Ebro Sporting Adventure camp.



The Best of Barlow – I was lucky enough to speak to the late great Frank Barlow – the funniest man in fishing, during my early days on Angler’s Mail when I would sometimes take down his weekly column, over the phone. Check out our four-page preview of Frank’s new book compiled by our own Greg Meenehan. I guarantee you’ll laugh!

Trout water opens for carp – More trout waters should follow Wessex Water’s example and open up for other species. This weeks Carp World follows Colin Davidson and Brian Gay on a carp packed 140-acre reservoir that’s opened to limited coarse fishing, for just £5 a day. Read how they got on. What I couldn’t believe was that there weren’t any other carpers giving it a go.


Dead 50 lb ‘pike’ – If you’ve ever wondered what a 50 lb pike might look like, check out page 9 of this weeks Angler’s Mail – there’s two of them. OK they’re not quite a pike, they’re muskies at 58 lb and 50 lb 8 oz respectively. Sadly the larger one was killed after a two-hour battle on 8 lb line.



Tips and advice on piking from Fox piker Julian Chidgey.

If you thought kayak fishing was just for small fish, think again. This video features a kayaker playing a 250 lb-plus marlin on just 20 lb test muskie tackle…