Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Shameless Plug

Seeing that I'm just your average angler like most of us, I tend not to mention tackle dealers at all. But in the week while online I decided to treat myself to a new reel for my lure fishing and with that in mind a shameless plug for customer service.

This little beauty was ordered just after 1600 Hrs on Wednesday, got it for a cracking price too. Normally the RRP is a little over two hundred pound, shop around though and they tend to be offered for sale cheaper than this, me well I got this for just over one hundred and twenty pound, with the LAS discount. But the real surprise was that it arrived the next day in work around noon, free postage too.That to me is exemplary customer service.

If your in the market for some new tackle why not try this place....

West Ham Yesterday

What can you say about that result? Over the years as a West Ham fan I've seen it all. Highs, lows and the lows far out way the highs. But it's my team, you only ever have one team regardless of how they play. Support a team from where you come from, none of this glory hunting  bollocks that seems so prevalent today.

Not cheap anymore, two tickets yesterday for  my old man and I set me back a good few quid. But what a result against the current champions. Yes we rode our luck, as any team would do against a side that has class running through it as City do. But we thoroughly warranted the win, what a cracking atmosphere. To many times over the last ten years the stadium has been dead, but not against the mancs. The last ten minutes my heart was banging, your dared not look at times as City poured forward in droves.

The final whistle and the stadium erupted and the best rendition of "Bubbles" I've heard in donkeys years. Looking at my old man, arms aloft belting it out made the hairs on my neck stand up. Sixty seven years old and a look of utter elation on his face. Walking him back to his motor after the match he looked me in the face and said...."Only thing is kid we have handed the title to Chelsea with today's win, so Sam out in my opinion". Silly old fucker, only he could come out with that. Should have him as a pundit on Sky Sports.

What's changed this season ? Easy one this, we have strikers who can score goals. Last year we were dependent on the mid field for those, what with Carroll being perennially injured. Champions League football next season, dare to dream. Us at the Nou Camp? I doubt that very much indeed, we have Stoke away up next and that is always a tough place to go. I'll just take these small victories and savor every moment.

At present it's nice to be able to get excited about my side, been a long time since that has happened.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Fish The Conditions

Last Sunday afternoon the rain fell and continued well into Monday night, it came down unabated. I walked in through the door Monday evening to be greeted thus by the wife. "Whats the matter with you, you have a face like a smacked arse". "River will be over the banks and in the fields by the morning, it will screw up my fishing for this Saturday". "Well you'll have to fish the conditions then babes".

My wife, the apple of my eye was now imparting wisdom on the angling front to me. It comes to something when that happens. She was right of course, the river rose and fell all week. Right up until late yesterday, Gruff popped down and had a look, but lure fishing was out. It had to be Barbel, with conditions as they are.

We both decided to fish a stretch of water that we had not seen for five years, known for big fish and a real ball breaker. In for a penny and all that, we tend to shy away from it owing to the fact it can get very busy. Today no one, just the two of us. Text book conditions, you could not have asked for more and yet we both did not have a touch. Why ? If I knew that, bottling that recipe and flogging it to the gullible would see me a rich man. As I said a ball breaker of a venue, an old boy came down for a walk who I'd not seen since my last visit, he only fishes midweek and has banked Barbel to in excess of sixteen pounds and from the swim I was in, he told me this years back. A real old school gent, a smashing man.

We spent a good half hour chatting, I inquired as to why the banks were so overgrown, where the other anglers are. He let it be known that it's not really fished anymore, he has chalked up twelve blanks on the trot this season. No bites, not a thing.. Sometimes you tend think, that someone is selling you a tall tale to keep you off the bank. Not this guy, honest as the day is long, no need to disbelieve a word he says.

The last few seasons people have mentioned the demise of this area, really, really tough now they bemoan. We do not have a problem with Otters yet, so in my uneducated view it's purely a cycle thing. It's not just here but up and downstream are the same, it's getting bloody hard for some species.

But, a large slack to my right had me salivating. Perch were hammering the shoals of fry, trying to find solace from  the flow. Big broad backed, bristling dorsal fins were showing above the water line again and again. Gruff had the same further down too. Shame I never thought to sling a lure rod into the quiver , got caught out their. But my next session out will see me here with suitable tackle.

I'd love a large Barbel one day over fifteen pounds, the last twelve years or so I could think of nothing else. Fish all day and into dark on a Saturday, twice in the week after work. Not now, just don't have the patience or the time. Maybe that passion will return, though I doubt it. Simply put it was to intense, burnt me out to be fair. Great to catch up with Gruff though and he told me this little story from yesterday.

He was in his local tackle shop talking to Andy the owner, a guy walks in and asks to see some baiting needles. His shown one and reply's "That's no good I'm colour  blind I'll loose it" so he plumps for another one. He then goes onto to ask "Do you have the latest hangers", "Yep we have these mate". "Good I'll have a red and blue one" A real WTF moment for my mate, trying not to piss himself laughing.

Just a couple of photos as no fish to show for today. Some people do not blog blank sessions, but to me it's part and parcel of my angling.

Meet Maggie De Block the new Health Minister for Belgium, now I'll not be rude. But she claims her size is due to "genetics". Fair enough Maggie, you may even be big boned. But how can you have a lady of this curvaceous nature giving health advice?

It's a little like me on a Saturday night, the wife is  working a night shift. I've sunk a bottle of red, time for bed. But decide to have a cheeky nip of Glemorangie as a night cap. Then the phone goes..........

"Monty it's Gazza, your drinking to much pet you need to cut back a little"
"Yeah righto Paul, bye mate"

You see where I'm coming from here?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Talking to a non fishing mate the other day and own up we all have them, for better or worse. He asked me what are the days that live long in my memory? Sure my racing days at the blue ribbon event for national hunt racing, tick all the boxes. Being lucky enough to attend two FA Cup Finals with my beloved West Ham will always resonate, won one, lost one.

But when you look back, it is my fishing that always shines brightest. My first fish, my first Carp, my first Pike. I guess I'm lucky in that my train into London Victoria each day gives me time to think, maybe dream. A few years back a week before Christmas the snow fell heavy in our part of the world. It seldom does so I dashed out with  my camera.You could hear the flakes fall, utter silence apart from the stream freezing at it's edge. I love these photos, going out just to capture it, then getting home in the warm. I fished the next day and blanked, but it really did not matter.

Now this one to me always makes me smile, three years ago on the river Wye. The culprit Mr DD had experienced a torrid time for two days on the Barbel front. Not a touch, me being me had snatched a couple of nice Barbel. But Mr DD never gave up, he found some Perch and nabbed this PB of three pounds, six ounces. I'll always remember the shout.... "Jay I've got a good Perch on here". I stood up on the high bank and watched every thrust from the fish, every waver and moment of angst from the angler.Yearning the fish not to escape. The Perch hit  the net, and when my mate looked round and up, the relief was palpable.A huge smile from us both.

But this, this will live to me until my last breath. My mate Gruff, now Gruff has been busy this season with work. Life does for me, for you get in the way at times. Though this Saturday, he and I will fish together.

Gruff and I are different, his from Yorkshire, he is I think now is sixty two? Thoughtful, an engineer by trade. He repairs my cane rods, boiler and makes his own centerpin  reels when he has time. Me, well I'm forty four and an office "bod" If I ever phone Gruff to ask advice to mend anything the reply is always the same..."Don't touch it kid, it will be fit for fuck all if you get your hands on it, I'm on my way". His right though, me well changing a light bulb takes a weeks run up. Hurtful but true.

But this Pike, well a few years back we shared a bay on the river. A very mild January, we had few Jacks, the Gruff's float buried. What a fight, she went down under the near bank, line grating on the branches. Shook her head, angry, venomous. The river was not long back in the bank, so netting her was difficult, the footing covered in silt. A big stretch and a wobble from me and she went in.

"Good fish that Gruff"

"Fook me kid, yeah"

I unhooked her, we weighed her and bang on nineteen pound. Photos taken, I slipped her back. Gruff had hold of my coat in case I went in. People have said that's not a nineteen in the past, we both weighed her and the man is a lump. But we both know, that's good enough for us. As Walker said..... No need to lie, unless your are on a sponsorship, free bait et al. Then it would be a good mid twenty.

When the pair of us watched her swim off, two grown men man hugged on the bank a good fish for this river. That's fishing to me, not always about what I caught, but the memories. I hope it is the same for us all.

Here is to Saturday mate .

Be Lucky

Monty D

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fallon's Angler

A fair  few anglers would be aware that a new angling magazine has recently been published, a brave and some may say foolish thing to do in a market that has saturation coverage. But then fortune favors the brave, or so they would have you believe.

Me, well it has been years since I felt the need to open my wallet for an angling magazine, as they do not grab my attention anymore. Whilst  waiting for my train home from work, I flick through the various issues that adorn the shelves of "Smiffs". But it seems to be more product placement than literary content. How many photo's of bags of bait do you the reader need to see? The latest must have, will let you slaughter 'em rig. Magazines do need adverts to survive, but in my eyes it is all to prevalent in most articles.

This little cracker is different! The front cover did give me cause for concern, not the shot of Dominic Garnett but the words "A medley of piscatorial prose". That to me screams twee and possibly would put others off too, it has a mate of mine. Simply I just cannot do twee, just get out on the bank and fish.

My fears though were unfounded , it really is a good read. I will not spoil it for those who have not read this yet, or intend to purchase a copy. Each article is laid out well, looks good and tells a story that draws you in. You can fish from Manhattan to Pembrokeshire, my old stamping ground of East London to South Africa. Fish for Squid by night (this gave me nightmares) or fluke out your largest Perch.

Also issue number one comes with a free gift, a Barder Barbus Maximus, not bad for eight quid.

Jokes aside, it will appeal to those of us who are getting on in life, fished about a bit. Maybe learnt to dangle a worm in your local canal as a child. Moved on to various species, different styles of angling. Then you come full circle and you understand doing your own thing is enough. Old enough to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Give it a go, the editor  Garrett Fallon is indeed brave to start this venture and lord knows what the start up costs are? Support something different, from most of the current angling publications and I hope you like I are not disappointed. If you are then you must be mad!

Enjoyed this edition to the core and let's hope it takes off.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 4 October 2014

It's Been A While Coming

Looking at the weather forecast yesterday, it left me in two minds as what to do. My brain was saying take the umbrella, sit it out with a lump of meat and wait for a fish any fish to hang itself on the end. My heart said try in the few hours of sun for a Chub on the top that has eluded me throughout this season. This little lot won out and was slung in the rucksack in the evening. Buying lures is a dangerous business, the best advice is do not look online when your pissed, speaking from the voice of experience here. But I really covert some jig fly's to have a chuck with. Thank god I've not got into large lures yet, then it does get bloody expensive.

Gloriously sunny morning first thing, October and your walking the banks having a cast in every run, far bank foliage, under your feet and still no Chub. A few small Pike erupt and hit your lure, giving you heart palpitations. They just go ballistic when hooked, like an extra from the Cirque Du Soleil somersaulting this way and that.What life must be like beneath the surface if your a small fish? If it were I, Christ popping to the shops for a paper  would be nerve racking affair, darting in and out, looking, no, no halt ! Esox to left watch ouuuuutttt. Shit your brothers just been chomped, Mum's gonna kill me. "I told you not to take him, you wait until your farther get's home"

Meanwhile back in the real world it all came good, at last. A brisk walk up to below a small weir, renowned for being Crayfish central. Fishing a bottom bait here is asking for trouble, it goes on unabated. But for lures, well no problem. Looking at my watch, the rain was due to fall in an hour or so, so time was running out. Fishing in the rain with no brolly to me is a royal pain in the 'arris. If you enjoy it, seek help 'tis the only way.

A few speculative cast and no joy. I went for the biggie, rod right back aiming to cover the far side. Whoosh, splosh and oh bollocks the lure clipped a branch and kind of done a swallow dive leaving me in a mess on the reel. It just sat in the water looking at me as if to say "Nice one wanker"! Then it was gone,smash just gone. No action imparted, just a little small crank bobbing about while this angling demigod is struggling to untangle this mess.

It should have got off, but lady luck, lord Shiva, the little Grey Men all those things smiled on me. A cracking fight, this way and that. Finally slipping over the net, never I have been so elated to catch a Chub. It went a whisker over four of my finest pounds, Chub in the past I've caught to over six pound while Barbel fishing, but this left me strutting about like a rutting Deer. At bloody last, trying since the start of the season has resulted in abject failure. Not today, not today.

Right on time this little lot had built up around mid morning, so that was my small nudge to pull away from the realm of fantasy and hot foot it back to the train and home. As I sit here now, typing this the rain is falling at long last. Brooks and streams will bulge back into life, the well worn phrase "BRING IT ON" will be posted you know where.

To the left of me is a bottle of London Porter and I'm thinking about who shall I back in the Arc tomorrow at Longchamp. I will make a decision in the morning, for what is my favorite flat meeting of the season. Maybe Kingston Hill at 20/1, but dropping back in distance after the Ledger he maybe tapped for speed. But Kingston has run his heart out this season, so it would be great, more so to win at those juicy odds.

My angling has changed immeasurably since this blog started about four and a half years ago. Friends also have diversified, moving away from the whole single species myopia. Sure we are still a bunch of piss taking bastards, ripping each other to pieces like many others do and long shall it remain so. Time to finally grow up, never. No fishing now for a few weeks, work and West Ham will take precedent, then it will be time for "Operation Papa Smurf" and hopefully a three pound Perch when he pops over.

Be Lucky

Monty D