colinmitchellcarpsmallIT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog. Every Sunday we welcome 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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FISHING’S been great over the past few weeks but there’s one thing that has spoiled it for me… those lunatic litter louts!

I go fishing to enjoy the peace, quiet and tranquility of the countryside. I want to soak in the surroundings, get away from it all and hopefully catch a few fish into the bargain. I accept that sometimes I will have to share the above pleasures with other anglers – and that too is part of the good bits, a social side with like-minded souls.

However, I don’t want to arrive at a swim that looks like it has been the dropping off point for the local dustbin lorry.

How’s this for a fantastic welcome: a half-eaten sandwich (complete with wrapper), plastic bottle with some of the drink still inside, a paper napkin with various leftovers wiped onto its surface, a beautiful bright red carrier bag that obviously contained most of the above, plus a few bits torn off various groundbait bags and other bits and pieces. And don’t forget the other ‘present’ I also discovered…a hook attached to line which became embedded in my boot. To be fair it was a nice barbless hook but the line left a lot to be desired and the knot can only be described as atrocious.


The louts not keeping Britain tidy are not always the people you suspect…

Of course the blame fell heavily on chavs or kids on their school holidays. And for once that was wrongly apportioned. The wrong-doers on this occasion were fairly well dressed older anglers who really should know better. Sadly they had packed up the rest of their belongings and jumped into their car before I got to the swim, although I had seen them sitting there earlier, when I had a walk around the lakes before getting my own gear.

The bailiff was disgusted as I showed off my early Christmas present but he was powerless to do very much as we didn’t know who these guys were, or if they were club or day ticket anglers. It doesn’t really matter who they were – they should be banned from this water. Or they could be given a penalty in the form of a hefty fine for day ticket anglers or punishment of litter picking duty for a number of weeks if club members.

Why do people leave litter like this? It took me a few minutes to bag it up and then take it to the dumpsters on site…just like I do every time with anything I have that I no longer want. Of course if I had seen this litter as the guys were leaving I’d have had a word (no matter how big they were). Even better, I would love to have thrown all this crap into their car… although maybe their motor was a bit of a tip too.

Shame they didn’t have a dog or two, then I really would have enjoyed giving them a leaving present…



On a brighter note…


Feeding has been my lesson learned in the past week.

Even after years and years of fishing I tend to learn something new most times I get to the bankside. Or at the very least I dredge my brain to recover some important lessons from the past. This week it’s been the importance of loose feeding – or at least feeding the fish enough.

The normal pellet feed with different hookbaits over the top has worked but not been quite so effective. So in one session I fed in two different ways. In one part of my swim I balled in the groundbait with just a few grains of sweetcorn. Further across I fed just a few grains of corn with a couple of pellets. Both areas produced but there is no doubt that the swim that didn’t get the groundbait produced bigger fish. And despite bright sun that would normally put fish down a little, the loose fed particle swim got stronger and stronger the more bait that went in.

Don’t just sit there if you miss a bit or aren’t even getting bites; keep feeding, get something into the water to hold the fish when they arrive, or to get them into a feeding mood.

This is the time of year fish are quite often very hungry when they do open their mouths. They know the bleak months are not far off and are ready for a nice free feed!



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