Colin Mitchell blogs exclusively for Angler's Mail EVERY SUNDAY. We have a new mix of blogs coming next week, and Colin will still be here each weekend with his must-read pleasure fishing blog.

Colin Mitchell blogs exclusively for Angler’s Mail EVERY SUNDAY. We have a new mix of blogs coming next week, and Colin will still be here each weekend with his must-read pleasure fishing blog.




IT DOESN’T matter how long you have been fishing: you still have an awful lot to learn. And re-learn.

I’ve fished more than 40 years and have found that just as you think you know more than enough new tactics and tricks come to light.

They are never totally new – more like old ideas adapted for new circumstances.

Last week I sat down and had two nice tench and a lot of skimmers. It sounds like a good day but it was totally frustrating.

The guy next to me had a nice bag of tench, crucians and bream. The angler the other side blanked.

How do you explain that away? I firmly believed I should have caught more.

First of all I sat and scratched my head. I would have pulled my hair out but I haven’t got any.

Had I done something totally wrong? Did I without knowing run over a black cat on the way to the lakes?

I did what all good anglers should do and asked the guy who had caught fish what he had done. He’d caught mostly on pellets down the edge.

An amateur mistake by me. I never tried the margins! It’s a place I love fishing but on the day I thought the fish wouldn’t be there. Wrong!

I had used pellets and caught just two fish on them. Maybe I didn’t give them long enough and had stuck on maggots and worms for too long.

Or maybe I did fish well and there just weren’t enough fish in my swim?

But the same pattern happened all around the lakes. One or two anglers had caught, some had struggled, some had blanked.

Obviously there were a wide range of anglers and different abilities on the banks but there shouldn’t have such massive differences in what were caught by anglers sitting next to each other, not to the extent that there were.

And then it was the obvious pointer that gave away the best swims – those that had been at the windward end of the lakes.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the areas where the wind had been blowing for the past few days held the most fish.

This is also the time of the year – a bit like later in the year when we have summer changing to winter – that fish feeding habits change.

They start to take a liking for pellets and paste, bigger baits over smaller natural ones, and are also still shoaled up after spawning…or before spawning.

They inhabit different areas of fisheries and feed in different ways.

Don’t wear blinkers – like I did – try a multitude of ideas until you start catching.

And just because you don’t catch straight away don’t stop feeding. Bait falling through the water on a regular basis will stop any fish on the move and also encourage them to feed.


We need a united front..

AnglingTrustlogoOn the subject of spawning and the Close Season, I was perturbed recently to see so many different views on whether or not the shut down on rivers should stay.

My concern came when I saw various ambassadors for the Angling Trust saying different things.

Hang on! Shouldn’t they be singing from the same hymn sheet?

I know the Trust want to hear views and I know more research is needed before we fight for a decision either way, but one body, one voice and all that…

Everyone has their views and I respect them but someone who is representing a body such as this should have a united front.

The now defunct National Federation of Anglers was often accused of doing very little except for match anglers.

I will bet that the vast majority of anglers who have joined the Trust did so in order to fish the big matches they organize.

We don’t want déjà vu…



Our Sunday blogger is  coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell. 

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career.

He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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Last week’s Colin Mitchell pleasure fishing blog 






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