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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


04/11/2018 - A Few Days on My Fishery

Front of cabin


A Few Days On My Fishery

Arriving home from my month long trip to Sussex on Sunday, I was greeted with a mass of question by e-mail and post, that needed answering, questions ranged from what’s the best bait for barbel on the River Ribble, where can I catch cod, and what is the best gear for beach fishing, to where can I find some good river roach fishing Warwickshire. I reckon it was around midnight when I’d finished answering all those questions. It was around 0900 hrs on Monday morning when I arrived at my fishery, I could the cabin badly needed to be given two coats of preservative very quickly, it should have been done in the summer but it was always being put off, it was time to bite the bullet, get the job done before the autumn rain arrived which is forecast for the following weekend.

Down to Work

In my store room I was lucky to find two large drums of dark oak preservative, some clean brushes and paint kettles. Pulling on my overalls I got to work brushing down the walls to get rid of the dross, then cleaned the inside of the window shutters, it’s surprising how filthy these get, then it was time to have a brew. It was around 1300 hrs when I started brushing in the preservative, it’s not just a case of putting the stuff on as if it was paint, it has to be pushed into the timber I continued until 1530 hrs then packed in for the day. I baited a couple of swims with some chunks of meat in the hope of getting in a short session near the end of the week, as the pigeons started to head for their roost I headed for home. Tuesday and Wednesday I worked on the cabin for around six hours nonstop each day, after a brew with a toasted cheese sandwich, I baited my chosen swim before heading off home.

A New Member

Thursday morning I showed a prospective member around the fishery, he was so impressed he joined immediately, I then started cleaning some of the windows where the preservative got splashed, it was now around 1300 hrs, I was amazed how quickly the time went, I had hoped to get in a short session, but I still had the guttering to clear on both cabins, after a sandwich and brew, I got the ladder from the store room then cleaned masses of leaves from the guttering, no doubt they will need doing again next week and the following week. Time to go off home before darkness settled in.

A Trio of Nice Chub

Today I was on the river just after 0800 hrs, the fields were white with frost, the river was extremely low the water clear as tap water the bright sunshine wasn’t good for fishing, which I’d planned if time permitted to have a session, if I did get the chance I wasn’t hopeful of catching, even a bite would be exciting. Having finished off cleaning the window panes, I catapulted three pieces of luncheon meat into a far bank swim then had a brew. Break over I put together rod, reel then threaded the line through the guides, attaching two floats stops, I attached a size 4 barbless hook with a Palomar knot then moved the floats stops two feet up the line from the hook, before moulding a small piece of plasticine round the stops. Picking up my small bag along with rod and landing net I walked the short distance to the river, then sat down among the long grass, baiting with a chunk of meat I made a long cast dropping the bait eight feet from the far bank. I sat holding the rod, within a minute I got a small pluck, I quickly set the hook into a fish that wanted to take line off the reel, a few minutes later I netted a nice 4lb plus chub which was quickly unhooked then released well upstream. Within minutes of casting out again, I had another bite a similar size fish was netted then released. Two bites in two casts it doesn’t get better, even more so as I thought just one bite would be exciting. Another cast was quickly followed by another nice chub, as I was playing this fish my friend David turned up, saying “I didn’t think you would catch in these conditions” Eventually I netted fish number three, David shot a picture before I returned my prize. Fishing on for another fifteen minutes without a bite we decided it was time for buttered toast and coffee for David tea for myself. After talking for an hour where we covered many subjects we both went our separate ways, as I was having trouble with my shingles I chose to return home early rather than fish on, which had been a short but good session at the end of a hard week.




Side of cabin

Ribble chub

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Martin James Fishing
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