Paul Dennis

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 deputy editor Paul Dennis.

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IN common, I suspect, with a lot of anglers, I’m struggling to catch at the moment. Slightly warmer, wetter weather promises much, but for the species I am currently targeting, barbel, it can be a bit of a problem.

Of course, river conditions will be ideal for barbel, but I know it, you know it, and so does everyone else. The banks promise to be absolutely rammed with barbel anglers, and that makes it a bit of a lottery.

The late Frank Barlow’s new book is a winner.

I’ve been fishing a pretty highly pressured piece of water, where the sheer number of anglers visiting day in, day out, has meant that old school knowledge like watercraft have gone out of the window. The fish have responded by being constantly on the move, and you can sit almost anywhere and be in with a chance, or not, as the case may be.

Add to that the fact that the fish are becoming very cautious in their feeding habits, and it is a real war of attrition.

Gone are the days of rod wrenching 3 ft twitches as bites. Now you are likely to get a couple of gentle taps, before the fish senses something amiss and ejects the bait.

Not only that, having tried it and not liked it, they won’t come back again.

I’m fishing blind, so I don’t know whether or not they actually vacate the swim at this point, but I do know that you get only one or at most two rather ‘iffy’ chances a session.

The answer is to find a less pressured stretch. But even on these sections that seldom see an angler it is as if some waterborne communication has taken place, because the fish in these areas are also very careful feeders. I’m sure that there is a lot going on below the water’s surface that we know very little about.




Books: You can’t beat a good read, and the new books by Kevin Nash, and Greg Meenehan’s ‘Best of Barlow’ are absolute page turners. Very entertaining, whatever kind of angling you do.

Gear: Who isn’t a closet tackle tart? It’s always great to look at the brightest, best new gear. And even in these tough financial times it costs nothing to dream. And don’t forget, there are always bargains to be had.



cormorants – we don’t like ’em!


Pollution: Thanks to Fish Legal an angling club got a £30,000 pay out following pollution at one of their club lakes. But wait a minute, the pollution was in 2009 and the settlement has only just been reached. Not good enough – was the pay out inflation linked we wonder?  

Cormorants: It isn’t just that they eat huge numbers of fish. The ones they don’t pouch can suffer serious damage. Add to that, the fact that they scare the wits out of every living fish for miles, leaving previously productive areas devoid of fish, and it’s a black mark for the ‘black death’.


Check out this week’s Angler’s Mail for a brilliant pole fishing Action Replay!