In his popular weekly blog for Angler's Mail, Colin Mitchell discusses those characters you hope to escape when you head for a session this Christmas.

YOU know the disclaimer that runs at the end of some TV series about all persons in the programme bearing no resemblance to anyone real etc…

Well no such disclaimer here. These are real people. I’ve met them, been accosted by them, plagued by them even on the banks. I’m reporting what I have seen and heard – and what many of you have also suffered.

So let’s meet…



This guy claims to have developed – or more than likely improved – virtually every piece of tackle known to man. He looks as though he could be a problem – you know the ones I mean, one look and you want to hide. I gave him the benefit of the doubt but after hearing a few stories, especially the harness chair for carp anglers, I knew it was time to depart rapido. My travelling partner Music Mike got stuck with him. More than once…


Also known as Hammerman, even though he doesn’t support West Ham. Dodgy jogging pants, iffy sweatshirt, haircut worse than mine, plus a great big mallet with which to make plenty of noise as he hammers up his day shelter – or is that beach shelter? – for a few hours’ fishing in the sun. Thankfully he’s not usually a winter species.


I am a firm believer in feeding regularly, with a catapult if you can’t do it by hand. But this guy goes on Sprayawaydays! Bait goes everywhere, including your swim. And it’s more like loads and sometimes rather than little and often.


Errr no, not the high-speed character but the guy with all the tackle money can buy. Problem is that’s he’s ‘all the gear and no idea.’ Still it’s good for a laugh, especially when he spends half the session just getting it all set up!


You’ve guessed…Mr Knowitall. And he wants everyone in earshot to hear his thoughts about fishing. The problem is that some of us shouldn’t even be within range of his rather large gob. Earplugs recommended.


He usually starts off quite sedate, stays in his seat and watches his tip or float intently. But his attention span doesn’t last long and that’s when he picks up the landing net and starts waving it in the air like a butterfly net, scoops it through the water to catch imaginary fish and stars chaos as his ‘responsible adult’ launches into a tirade of words asking him to behave.Blog Mitch


This is often a Netboy who has morphed into a new being. Sick of being told to sit down he goes for a walk. Usually this is to your swim where he walks through pole rigs, stands on landing net poles, spills bait tubs and after a few minutes of reasonable fishing questions becomes a pain under the seatbox cushion.


Now as a family man I love seeing dads or mams and lads or lasses fishing together. It’s great for the sport, great for the families. But…there’s always one! Well, actually, it’s usually a whole load of them…they pitch up in a people carrier, have deckchairs, blankets, picnic, kites, bikes, an electric stove (ok, I made that up, it’s gas) and all the comforts except a kitchen sink. If you think some of the carp boys take a lot of gear with them – well, they are non-starters compared to this lot!


I wish them all well this Christmas and New Year but in the nicest possible way I hope I don’t meet up with them in 2015.

Meanwhile, if you are on the bank over the festive period I wish you well and if you spot me and speak I’ve no problem with that. Just don’t bash the ground with a mallet!