Colin Mitchell, our Sunday blogger.

IT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog on this new-look Angler’s Mail website. 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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THE best laid plans and hopes in fishing often fall flat on their faces. But sometimes those plans all come together and you know just why you go fishing!

You can’t get much better than dreaming about where to draw in a match and how you would fish the peg – and then actually drawing the swim when you wake up the next day!

That’s what happened to me in my very early fishing days. It was when the River Tees was still tidal, before the barrage.

I’d gone to bed and started to dream about drawing between these two bushes, a very tight swim with very little option except to fish down the edge, or maybe have a chuck further out when the tide disappeared and the river was a bit slower.

When the river was in flood you could pin a bait to the deck down the edge, under a bush, and catch quite steadily. I knew because it was a swim I had pleasure fished many times.

The stuff that dreams were made of…!

Anyway, I drew this peg. I didn’t even know I had until I got to the bank as there were no permanent numbers and they could quite often be stuck in quite a distance from where you expected.

I can’t remember the weight, but I know it was low, made up of roach and dace and the catch gave me second in a 120-peg Open.

I was still a teenager at school and hadn’t gone in the pools – but the other lads in the frame all put a few quid in to ensure I got a payout. I will never forget that.

Plans also always tend to work when you know your venue and conditions – and that’s what happened on the tidal River Tyne where it was usually dace or bust to win.

I drew a swim that looked just like any other when we got there. With the tide high the river was wide and it looked featureless. I didn’t even tackle up fast – I knew there was no point.

As everyone else got ready I took my time. I only wanted a stick float rod and didn’t even expect to use it for the first 90 minutes to two hours.

From past experience I knew that it was virtually impossible to catch from this swim until the tide disappeared. And I do mean disappeared…

When the water ran off all I would be left with would be a small gap between some slate beds that you could jump across and the water would be gushing through.

But the dace would hole up in that area and it could be one a bung. It was… and more than 20lb of big fish in the last three hours proved a winning point!

The same venue but with the tide coming in proved totally different one summer evening match.

Knowing it was a big tide and that the river had been low for weeks, I expected dirty water to be pushed up as the tide rose.

The roach and dace wouldn’t like this and would go upstream a short distance above the match length to where there was a weir and clean water.

This was a night to catch eels! White bread groundbait, white maggots and laid on down the edge over a muddy bottom brought 9 lb of wrigglers and one flounder!

I swear if the water had got any dirtier we could have caught cod or mackerel!

Have a great 2013 – and may all of your fishing dreams come true!


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