ANGLER’S MAIL magazine columnist John Bailey made the most of the Christmas and New Year break, especially as the weather was so kind to us. Here, online, JB tells you all about what he got up to.

Follow his tales and though-provoking ideas in the mag every week, starting with his plans for 2012 in the current January 3 issue of Angler’s Mail.

Chub on the Wensum helped make it a happy holiday period for John Bailey, who writes exclusives in Angler's Mail ever week during 2012. What you read here is just for this website, this week - his 2012 thoughts are in the magazine.


You really couldn’t miss ten or twelve days like this when daytime temperatures were frequently into double figures. Bless her, even Sarah wanted to go on Christmas Day and a couple of times before the New Year.

Because I’m very much an all-round angler, I wanted to cast my net as widely as possible, if you’ll excuse the pun. I also had a lot of new Greys Prowla kit to try out and the new Hardy Marksman Supero rods.

So it was a mixture of river and pit fishing for predators, chub, barbel and roach. All the action took place either on the Kingfisher Lakes and river or within five miles either upstream or down.

John Bailey has an exclusive column with brilliant advice and photos in our magazine - every week. Here online, is a taster of his world in the form of a look at what he did over the festive period.

The specimens that evaded me were roach. I saw very good ones rolling and friend and Kingfisher syndicate member, Roger Eastaugh, took a fine 2 lb 5 oz specimen to spur us all on. However, the rest made up for lack of redfin action.

Besides a hatful of doubles, I was lucky enough to land four 20 lb pike between 20 lb 8 oz and just under the 25 mark. I also managed to shake a true monster off the hook, too! A few very decent perch between 2 and 3 lb 4 ozs also fell to artificial lures.

On the Wensum, I took a hatful of chub in the mild conditions including four fish over 5 lb. But the star turn for me, without any shadow of a doubt was a fin and scale perfect barbel that fell to two trotted maggots on a size 18 just before dusk on New Year’s Eve.

I don’t in any way want you to think that I’m bragging about these catches. It just goes to show what a bit of dedication during the right conditions can achieve.

And best of all, despite the doom and gloom that has settled over the land, it confirms that there are plenty of big fish remaining that haven’t all been ottered!