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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


31/07/2021 - Another Day Another Venue

Samuel with one of many rudd

Saturday July 31st weather forecast was light showers partly cloudy moderate breeze, Samuel was up early sorting out food and drink for his basket, around 0900 hrs we were off in Sharon’s car for a twenty minute drive to a local fishery, I’d often fished in the past, the water had a good head of roach, rudd, tench, bream with a few carp that have a liking for bread. I feel its very important that if you are taking a newcomer to the sport, young or old, they need to catch, better still see the float often bobbing under the water. It doesn’t matter what size of fish the person catches, with lots of bites etc, they will soon get used to handling tackle putting the bait on the hook, also knowing how to unhook and handle the fish. After Samuels day on Wednesday when he caught a 6 lb carp I was concerned he would catch the carp bug, but thankfully not.

Instant Action

Tackle was a ten foot fibre glass rod, small fixed spool reel with 4lb line, the float was a loaded Drennan waggler taking 1bb and 1 number 4 shots, hook size was 14 barbless to 3lb line, after plumbing the depth we found around 6 feet of water between two large beds of soft pond weeds, to our left were a dense bed of Norfolk reeds. After making up a bowl of soft ground bait containing some grains of corn, we baited a small area some ten feet from the bank.

Samuel seated on his basket made an under hand cast dropping the float in the centre of the ground baited area, two or three minutes later the float lifted a fraction then slowly submerged, the heavy strike had the fish missed, the float around the rod, another learning process, but soon I had the tangle sorted. The next cast accounted for a ‘Goer’ rudd with its blood red fins. Suddenly from a south westerly direction the wind shook the reeds, heavy rain fell on us both, by the time I’d sorted the umbrella out the squall had passed by, Samuel didn’t seem a bit bothered. Soon he was back baiting with a grain of corn and getting the tackle in the water, five minutes later he had a small six inch roach followed by three more in quick succession. Soon a moorhen with two chicks appeared, what did surprise us both was an Hungarian bull frog trying to eat some bread, I have never seen this happen before, even though I have spent a lot of time on Romney marshes also the Charente River in Western France where there were lots of these reptiles.

Surprise Tench

After a break for a snack with some pop, Samuel was back in action again catching the odd ‘Goer’ roach and rudd, suddenly something different was on the end of the line, there was a more distinct pull on the rod tip, as it curved downwards soon I was netting a small tench, as the day went by three more tench were caught, also we were hit by another squall, that thankfully quickly passed. As I was searching for some worms I heard Samuel call Grandad “It’s a big one” Turning round I could see the rod well bent, quickly rushing forward to help I watched the rod tip spring back, Samuel described it “As a big deep fish all silver colour”, I suggested “It could be a bream” Soon he was back in action catching roach and rudd ending the session with 36 fish. The end of another good day where he had progressed with his casting and learning more about the countryside, there was never a minute when he wasn’t interested in the fishing, in fact I reckon he would have stopped until it was dark.

Samuel with a roach and tench

Some of Samuel's catch

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Martin James Fishing
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