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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


15/06/2020 - I'm Now Ready for the Off

My net basket and rod rests


Monday 15th June It’s just a few hours to go before June 16th, a day I’ve been looking forward to since March 14th. Though I do a lot of fly fishing both in fresh and saltwater, Coarse fishing is my first love, these days I tend to look back and not forward, I feel I had the best fishing in the 50’s and early 60’s not in big fish caught, but the quality of the sport and the waters I enjoyed to fish. My fellow anglers in the past were willing to help other anglers to achieve a good days sport, also they were not so secretive.

When I’m helping an angler to catch a fish of his or her dreams, I give them my full attention, often I’m rewarded by seeing him or her catch a personal best fish. Many anglers will say to me “You could have caught that fish” Yes, perhaps I could but if I don’t catch another fish I’ve certainly caught my fair share during my lifetime. I’m certainly a romantic for the past and the start the season, my basket has been packed for the final time, since my part 2 feature I’ve changed my mind several times regarding tackle, bait and food.

Apart from the Sharpe’s rod along with the Coxon Aerial, my plans now include a Constable Forty Fore rod matched with an Allcocks C815. As I mentioned in part 2 I told you I was going to take bread, potatoes and paste, I have now added lobworms in case I find a margin patroller, I have found carp will often take a lobworm with relish, especially if you have injected some air in the tail section of the lob.

On this trip I will use my large landing net with 36” cane arms, made for me by the late Dave Austin of Maidstone a real gentleman who I still miss, along with his catapult he made for my 80th birthday, I only use these on special occasions, not for the run of the mill fishing days. I will take two pairs of rod rests, one made by my friend Rob Burt from hazel he collected then seasoned. The other pair of traditional cane rests made by Dave.

Again these items are only used on those special days, more so as I often tend to forget things these days. I have another net of 30 inches made by Dave I occasionally use for chub fishing, though I reckon it will get a lot of use this season. I was hoping to use a Primus stove but I gave it to my son several years ago, he currently lives in the Highlands so I can’t get hold of it. I will now have to use a modern Jetboiler for my tea making. My lunch box will have cheese sandwiches along with a couple of hard boiled eggs, tomatoes and spring onions, which was my usual fare in the early 50’s. Like in the 50’s I didn’t have a phone, neither will I on this first day of the season, I can’t think of anything worse than the ringing of a phone on this special day. I want to forget modern life and all its problems, I will also have a minutes silence to remember my grandfather and Uncle Len who helped me catch my first fish in 1941 along with all my friends no longer with me, sadly I only have two friends left from the early days and both are house bound. I wish all of you who are returning to our rivers and still waters a very successful season, remember our days don’t just become memorable by the fish we catch, but by the nice people we meet at the waterside also the wildlife we are privileged to see as anglers.



Pic 2956  1792 2140 





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Martin James Fishing
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