Category Archives: Fishing equipment

‘Tackle Tart’ and ‘Fancy Pants’ are defiantly among the top sayings whether you’re coarse, fly or sea fishing, most anglers refer to these sayings when they come across someone who likes something ‘upmarket’. Fishing equipment with hefty price tags usually get all the attention, when most don’t even bother to look twice at discount fishing tackle!

Christmas fishing folk tales

Dicken’s Christmas Carol is one of the most famous ghost stories ever told.

The spooky writings of MR James were originally Christmas Eve tales the Cambridge don told to entertain his students; Susan Hill’s acclaimed gothic ghost story, the Woman in Black is recounted during a Christmas Eve house party. Christmas ghosts are a rich tradition that harks back to Victorian times and beyond.

But what about ghostly fishing stories? Tales of the sea, pond or riverbank that will have your carp fishing equipment trembling in your hands…

Hella Point

1. Shipwreck 525x350 Christmas fishing folk tales

Image source: AlienCat
The chilling tale of a missing sailor, love and a shipwreck.

The Southern tip of Cornwall is a wind ravaged place. Isolated and bleak, in winter, its cliffs and coves are storm lashed and lethal. When young Nancy fell for swashbuckling sailor called William, their union was frowned upon by the girl’s family and she was forbidden from ever seeing him again.

But the two met in secret on the beach at Porthgwarra, where they pledged their undying love for each other.

When William returned to sea, Nancy would pace the headland at Hella point, looking out for the return of her lover. But as weeks turned to months, and still there was no sign of him, Nancy became frantic with worry, and nothing anyone said could calm her.

Then one stormy evening, an old woman saw Nancy down in the cove. Sat on a rock, huge waves roared and seethed around her. The elderly woman began to hobble down to the beach to warn the girl of the danger of the tide. But then she stopped in her tracks, for there sitting beside the girl was none other than the missing sailor.

A breaker rolled into the bay, and broke over the rock. Nancy disappeared, never to be seen again. And when news came to the tiny hamlet, it told of shipwreck and disaster. Williams ship had sunk, and all aboard were drowned.

Dead fisherman’s family

2. Dead fishermans family 525x393 Christmas fishing folk tales

Image source: donatas1205
A starved fisherman’s family haunt this river.

The river Adur in West Sussex is a spooky body of water if ever there was one. One of the sights that greets visitors is an old wooden boat, long since wrecked, its rotting timbers slowly decaying in the turgid river current.

On dark nights, it’s said, anglers have been chilled to the marrow by the sound of sobbing that emanates from the boat’s crumbling bulwarks. Closer inspection reveals the spectral horror of a woman and her children damned to an eternity of sobbing despair.

The boat once belonged to a fisherman. One dark night in 1893, a tempest blew his fragile craft upriver from Shoreham harbour to be wrecked on the rocky riverbank. No matter how hard the poor man tried, he couldn’t refloat his boat.

Death by starvation was the fate of the fisherman and his entire family. Now the ghosts of those unfortunates appear hollow eyed and desperate, forever trying to push the boat back out to sea.

Jack Harry’s lights

3. Jack Harrys Lights 525x350 Christmas fishing folk tales

Image source: Digital Storm
A ghosty ship in St Ives Bay, yep, you’ve seen Jack Harry’s Lights.

If ever you’re out sea fishing at St Ives Bay and you see a ghostly ship cruise against wind and tide across the bay, put away your tackle and run for dry land. If ever you see the lights of that dread ship glimmer and disappear in the night – run for your your life because disaster will surely follow.

You’re gazing upon ‘Jack Harry’s lights’.

Jack Harry was the man who one afternoon watched a ship sail into the bay. He watched with horror as it sailed straight onto the rocks. Horrified, he ran to round up a rescue crew who rowed to the stricken vessel intent on saving as many of the crew as they could.

Just as they reached the ship and Jack went to step aboard, it disappeared. Confused and scared, the men returned to shore. Later that night, another ship was seen to founder. But fearing it was another ‘ghost ship’, nobody would put to sea to rescue her crew.

But this ship was real all right. The Neptune was wrecked on the rocks and next morning, the first of the bodies washed ashore. For ever after, Jack Harry’s lights have been seen up and down the rocky Cornish coast. And they’re always an omen of ill fortune and death.

The Ghost of Claremont lake

4. The Ghost of Claremont lake 525x393 Christmas fishing folk tales

Image source: n1kcy
A ghost with a grudge lurks on this lake.

Think phantoms are confined to wild Cornish coasts? Think again, all you carp fishermen. Claremont Lake in Esher is as haunted as they come. It’s a National Trust property now, but even if you could fish there, you’d do so at your peril.

William Kent was a renowned landscape gardener. When he was hired to revamp the grounds by Claremont House’s owner, the Duke of Newcastle, he must have been delighted at the prospect of completing such a high profile project.

Kent set to, moving streams and creating a stunning new lake fed from a grotto. But when the work was done, the Duke welched on the deal, offering to pay a paltry £100 for the huge works. Facing financial ruin, Kent argued the point, and the Duke responded by having the man thrown in his own lake.

William Kent caught cold and died a penniless pauper. Now on dark misty nights, the figure of the dead designer walks the grounds. Dressed in long brown cloak and gaiters, his tormented spirit is doomed to haunt the lake forever.  

Save our eels!

Eels are in danger of becoming extinct in our rivers, and without them, the fragile ecosystems of our wetlands will be seriously impoverished.

Since the 1980s, we’ve lost a staggering 95% of our eel populations – populations that used to be so vast people were once paid in eels. But now, as stocks dwindle, the last of the remaining eel fishermen are packing up their fishing equipment forever.

But while the eel is still with us, there’s hope, and now the eel men are fighting back. Read on to find out what’s being done to save the eels, and how can you play your part to help stocks recover.

Eels

Spotted Garden Eel Save our eels!

Image source: Peter Dutton
Eels are mysterious creatures.

Izaak Walton, who penned, The Compleat Angler, thought eels were generated by the “action of sunlight on dewdrops”; a wise old bishop once told the Royal Society that eels slid from the thatched roofs of cottages; some thought they materialised from the mud at the bottom of rivers; even Aristotle was flummoxed – he thought eels were “born of nothing”.

Now we know that eels are born in the Sargasso sea, but to this day nobody has ever seen an adult eel there, or for that matter an eel egg. What we do know is that they’re disappearing from our rivers.

Life cycle

Glass eels Save our eels!

Image source: Wikimedia
Glass eels, before they gain colour.

When eels hatch, they’re minute, flat, willow leaf shaped and see-through. It takes them about two years drifting in the Gulf Stream to reach the shores of Europe. By this time, they’re 7 – 8 cm – so called ‘glass eels’. They swim and slither up our rivers, gaining colour as they go, until they find a nice spot and there they’ll stay, males for around seven years, females for perhaps 12; some linger for even longer, eating, swelling, becoming darker in colour.

Then, for reasons unknown, one dark autumn night they turn mottled green on top and silver underneath, and leave the river, swimming the 3000 miles back to the Sargasso sea where they (apparently) spawn and die.

Concrete evidence

Grey Heron swallowing an eel Save our eels!

Image source: Gidzy
The eel faces a lot of threats – including the heron!

So why have populations crashed? Like many other species, the eel has suffered a battering from a multitude of threats – we’re talking disease, pollution, loss of habitat, climate change, water abstraction and flood prevention schemes. Chief culprit for the steep slide in eel stocks is thought to be the sheer number of obstacles barring eels’ passage up river.  

But now, thanks to EU intervention and the tireless efforts of eel campaigners, it looks as though the tide is turning. Huge efforts are being made to restock our rivers – this year alone, over 90 million eels have been translocated from estuaries into rivers all over Europe. That’s good, but to create a sustainable future for eels, much more needs to be done to fit eel passes to river obstructions. Unless they can get up and down rivers, eels can’t complete their life cycles.

Your help

Jellied eels Save our eels!

Image source: Jessica Spengler
Anyone for jellied eels?

The best thing you can do to help reverse the decline in eel stocks is to eat eels. This might sound counterintuitive, but sustainable fisheries are key to ensuring a bright future for one of our rivers’ most vital natural resources. That’s because, responsible fishing communities fight hard to look after their way of life.

Whether you like your eels, fresh, jellied or smoked, look for the ‘Sustainable Eel Group’ Kitemark on the packaging and enjoy a delicious, traditional treat, safe in the knowledge that you’re helping replenish our eels for future generations to enjoy!

Britain’s strangest catches

Salmon, trout, cod, mackerel – tasty, yes – exotic, no.

But just because the UK isn’t normally known for its strange catches doesn’t mean nothing unusual ever turns up on our shores, or in our rivers and lakes. But what are some of the oddest fish ever caught in the UK?

We thought we’d find out.

Electric Ray

Electric Ray Britain’s strangest catches

Image source: Wikimedia
Zing! Imagine catching one of these off the coast of Cornwall.

Capable of delivering an electric pulse of 220 volts, an encounter with an electric ray could literally knock you off your feet. But while the fish does exist in deep water off the coast of the UK, it’s very rare for one to be caught by a shore angler. In fact, the electric ray is normally a resident of the Med and the waters off Africa, and South America.

But imagine his surprise when in 1980, a Mr Wills caught a 52lb 11oz whopper off Porthallow on the Cornish coast. A truly stunning catch, we hope he realised what it was before he touched it!

Puffer Fish

Puffer fish Britain’s strangest catches

Image source: Wikimedia
You wouldn’t want to accidentally step on one of these!

Japanese sushi chefs train for at least two years to prepare and serve fugu, or puffer fish. That’s because the skin and internal organs of this native of tropical and subtropical waters contain tetrodotoxin, a nerve agent for which there is no known antidote. Puffer fish can grow up to two feet in length and when threatened or attacked, pump their stomachs full of air or water to make themselves impossible to swallow.

It must have come as quite a shock to one Mr S. Atkinson, when in 1985, while fishing from Chesil Beach in Dorset, he hooked a 6lb 9oz specimen. We assume he didn’t untangle it from his fishing equipment and take it home for tea!

Pilot Fish

Pilot fish Britain’s strangest catches

Image source: Wikipedia
The pilot fish keeps risky company.

It’s covered in black and white stripes, and normally feeds on the parasites that live on the skin and gill slits of sharks. We’re talking about the pilot fish – the one creature that can swim into the mouths of sharks, pick the rotting flesh from between its razor sharp teeth and live to tell the tale. But the pilot is normally found cruising with its lethal ally in the warm seas of the equator – not in chilly UK waters.

So it must have come as a bit of a surprise to say the least, when in 1997, Mr J. Richards caught a 10 oz pilot fish in the Towy Estuary in Carmarthenshire. How it managed to get so lost is a mystery.

Carp or Goldfish?

Carp goldfish Britain’s strangest catches

Image source: Platform 13
A very strange hybrid fish.

Is it a goldfish, a carp, a roach or a bream? Perhaps it’s all of the above. When Angling Times tackle editor, Mark Sawyer caught this strange specimen at Magpie Lake, Cambridge in 2012, he really didn’t know what to make of it.

His first thought was that he’d hooked a brown goldfish, but when he looked more closely, he realised he’d caught something altogether stranger. The hybrid fish looked to be the product of at least three species, if not more. It had, Mr Sawyer said, the head of a roach, the body of a bog standard goldfish, a fantail’s tail and the anal fin of a Bream.

Mystery Fish

Mystery fish Britain’s strangest catches

Image source: UTAOT
A walking fish?!

“Caught” on film, “walking”, the seabed beneath a North Sea oil rig, if it’s genuine footage, this strange specimen has us truly baffled. It looks like some sort of Handfish – but that’s a species native to the coasts of Australia and Tasmania. Using adapted pectoral fins to travel the ocean floor, this slow moving fish, pictured above, does look very similar to the one featured in the video.

What do you think it is? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

World’s creepiest fish

A fish that sucks its prey to death, a cannibal fish and a fish with four eyes.

Nature certainly creates some weird and wonderful creatures and some of the strangest of all live under the sea.  

Here’s a selection of the world’s creepiest fish.

Serrated throat

Wolf fish1 World’s creepiest fish

Image source: Spass Maske
The wolf fish has a serrated throat and anti-freeze blood – very hardcode.

It looks like an extra from the muppet show, but this denizen of the deep is no cuddly toy. It lives in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic where the antifreeze in its blood keeps it alive as it rests in its underwater burrow. Behind the wolf fish’s fangs lie three rows of crushing teeth and even its throat is serrated.

A big wolf fish could weigh as much as 40 lbs and reach 5ft in length, but despite its fearsome looks, it’s only a danger to humans when caught and brought to the surface by their fishing equipment. The scary teeth aren’t even for use on other fish as its diet consists solely of shellfish and crustaceans.  

Seeing double

Four eyed fish World’s creepiest fish

Image source: The Quantum Biologist
The South African mudskipper can see in air and water at the same time.

It’s just a humble South American mudskipper, but what makes this fish freaky is its bifocal vision. Because the four eyed fish feeds on both terrestrial insects and water born larvae, it has evolved to be able to see in both air and water. It has in fact two rather than four eyes, but each is divided in two by a strip of tissue. The upper and lower eyes filter light through a single lens whose thickness changes from top to bottom to cope with the different refractive qualities of air and water.

And just incase you think that isn’t weird enough, a right “handed” four eyed fish will only mate with a left “handed” female, and vice versa. Hows that for “un-natural selection”?

Sucked to death

Sea Lamprey World’s creepiest fish

Image source: Noordzeeloket
The sea lamprey sucks its prey to death. Ouch.

Remember the film “Tremors”? Kevin Bacon and friends terrorised by giant carnivorous worms? The sea lamprey only grows to 90cm long, but in its own way, it’s just as scary.

Sucked to death – it must be a horrible way to go, but that’s exactly what the sea lamprey does to its hapless prey. It latches on with its sucker like mouth, then rows of sharp teeth scour through flesh and bone. An anticoagulant in the fish’s salival keeps the blood flowing, until it’s all gone and the prey dies. Then, the meal over, it’s time for the lamprey to lie in wait for a new host.

Killer cannibals

Cannibal Lancet fish World’s creepiest fish

Image source: Boxden
Nobody is safe from the lancet fish, not even it’s own family!

With its sail-like dorsal fin, gigantic spines and razor sharp teeth, the lancet fish looks like an extra from a dinosaur movie. And in reality, this ambush specialist is quite a piece of work. Its long thin body is difficult to spot in the water, and with its sail stored flat in a groove along its back, the lancet fish is almost invisible to its prey.

But when it pounces, the massive dorsal fin gives the fish powerful acceleration and once it sinks its sharp fangs into its prey, there’s no escape. A danger to each other as well as other fish, lancet fish are known to be cannibals.

Forehead Genitalia

Rhinochimaeridae World’s creepiest fish

Image source: Prima Zoom
The ghost fish has got something funny going on in it’s head.

It’s not a pretty sight, but the ghost fish is one of the oldest species of fish on the planet. Most closely related to sharks, in evolutionary terms, it diverged from that family over 400m million years ago. The fossil record shows they were once plentiful but these days, the ghost fish swims alone at depths between 200m and 2600m, making it a rare find.

The distinctive nose is actually used for detecting prey, but what makes the ghost fish truly creepy is that its sexual appendages are retractable and stored in its forehead.

Mirror image

Brownsnout spookfish World’s creepiest fish

Image source: Biology Biozine
The brownsnout spookfish can look up and down simultaneously.

It’s just a weird looking fish that swims at 1000m deep right? Wrong. The brownsnout spookfish is so rare that only one has ever been captured alive. And when one is caught, dead or not, it’s a cause of great excitement in the scientific community.

That’s because this fish is the only known creature on earth whose eyes use mirrors to capture light. The spook fish is able to look up and down at the same time. Upward facing apertures on the top of its head look for creatures silhouetted against the dim light of the distant surface while its downward facing eyes capture sparks and flashes from phosphorescing sea creatures beneath its vulnerable belly. This second pair of eyes reflects the specks of light onto the retina using mirrors made of crystal. Ingenious.

The Hardcore Boilie Air Dry Bag

Drying your boilies – whether you’re on the bank or at home – has never been easier with this boilie air dry bag. 

The TF Gear boilie air dry bag gives your bait complete circulation to dry out. With its easy dry mesh construction this ingenious piece of fishing tackle can be handle-hung or stood on its base to get the very best ventilation. Once your boilies have dried off, the large or standard TF Gear boilie air dry bag will continue to keep them fresh, firm and always in peak condition.

View the TF Gear Boilie Air Dry bag here

boiliebag The Hardcore Boilie Air Dry Bag

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary February/March 2014

8lb summer flounder out of New York Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary February/March 2014

New York plaice like bling too!

One of the worst winters on record for weather has taken its toll on shore and boat angling, not only venues made unfishable but piers damaged and closed, charter hours lost, competitions cancelled and a general feeling of when will it end? Well so much doom and gloom, but it has its upside and that is that the commercial nets have also been hit hard and a few extra small fish may have survived the winter this year and that may improve the fishing in the spring…

I have taken some time off to sort some of my fishing equipment and generally plan ahead – the Spring IS just around the corner and although those last few weeks can drag, it will get here. OK so I have more terminal rigs that Gerry’s of Morecambe, all my reels are loaded with new line and my tackle box is pristine. All I need is to get out on the beach for a few casts, but that’s just not going to happen until the sea flattens off and clears. First up is a plaice trip but as I said, red spots don’t like coloured, rough or silty water – Chesil Beach at Cogden is a favourite venue to head for, but only when that sea settles! In the meantime the tackle box retains my attention and one of the many jobs I keep promising to do but never get around to be replacing grip wires in my lead collection. Normally when a wire or a bead on a lead goes, I dump it in the throw away bucket for fishing the Irish rocks, or Samphire Hoe. It’s essential when fishing rough ground to have plenty of spare leads and to not worry about losing them. But the throw away bucket is overloaded so its wire cutters, pliers, beads and wire time.  The tasks brings about several options, for starters you can change the shape colour of the breakout beads, I hate blue and yellow and prefer red and so replace this missing etc with round  red beads, make sure you use decent strong plastic beads because some smash just looking at the beach. You can also change the grip wire length, bend them differently or simply straighten out and upgrade the lead in general. Whatever, the result is a box of new functional leads.

Another worthwhile spring clean job, is your sea fishing rods, because if you look closely you may have a cracked ring. After the countless times my rod has been pulled off the rest this winter I will be surprised if I haven’t got a ring that need replacing. The beauty of Fuji’s, Seymo and the other top makes is that they take lots of shit, but even the best cannot survive many more than one a gale driven clatters on concrete, rocks or beach stones and can be damaged and it pays to look.

First wash the rod free of sand, weed and all the other crud it has collected with use and give the rings and the reel seat the once over with a tooth brush. This will remove most of the unwanted and reveal the ring back at its best. Reel seats really benefit from a good scrubbing and you will find them less likely to jam afterwards. Examine the rings closely under a good light, the smallest crack can skim whisks of mono almost unnoticed. Of course losing a ring is a disaster on a beachcaster – it’s like scratching the door on a new motor UUURRGHH!!! For me it’s the menders and I mean specialist rod repairs not DIY. Sometimes an on the beach a temporary repair may be required and that’s fairly simple. I cut one leg of the rig whipping off. Wriggle the other ring foot free and remove the ring. Insert a new ring in the whipping and then tape up on the other side – good as new, for some!

One economic way to re-invent a tired beachcaster is to replace the shrink wrap handle. Most tackle dealers nowadays offer a range of different types, colours, materials of shrink wrap. You can buy it to the length required and simply shrink it on. Don’t be tempted to do it over the old handle though, remove this and thoroughly wash and dry the rod section before putting on the new shrink wrap. To close down the shrink wrap tightly you can use a hair drier, whilst boiling water from a kettle spout is more dangerous, it does a better job!

Best of all the rod refurbishments are those offered by lots of the major firms – Send your rod back to them and for a fee they will replace it to its original glory, well worth the money if you are fussy about your sea fishing tackle.

Already there are rumours about plaice – the first sunny day for months and tall plaice stories have started. Now let’s get one thing clear before we start talking about plaice. They are frail, thin and pasty when they first arrive inshore in March after the vigour’s of spawning and not worth eating or retaining so please unhook carefully and return. In a matter of months they will be returned to their red spotted plumpness and then will be prized for the table.

Time now to make up a few rigs with the usual plaice bling, beads and glitter, my tendency is to make the bait stop on my clipped rigs the bling and there are lots of options ranging from pop up bead, plastic beads, luminous beads, sequins, glass beads, vanes, luminous tubing etc. Don’t skimp either plaice often respond the flashiest hook bait and the rule is anything goes!

A recent letter in Sea Angler magazine criticised me for keeping (and grinning) with a catch of small dabs and whiting (4 dabs and seven whiting) Now excuse me, but I eat a lot of fish and the number I retained that day was a small percentage of that caught and returned – You see there is not much else in the sea around the UK coast in winter and I enjoy a few dab and whiting fillets.

Tight lines

Alan Yates

 

Moment of Truth – Rene Harrop

IMG 9016 Moment of Truth   Rene Harrop

There is no time when the experience of losing a special trout carries anything but a sense of disappointment. However, the emotional pain of watching an exceptional adversary swim free when only a successful application of the landing net at the end of a spirited battle stands between the exhilaration of complete victory and total deflation is nearly indescribable.

You learn early on the Henry’s Fork that many things can go wrong when the hook is small, the tippet is fine, and the trout are often very large. Developing skills dedicated to preserving a precarious connection to a big fish is only marginally secondary to perfecting the ability to present a fly in a manner that will allow the battle to begin.

In both instances, much depends on the quality of the fishing equipment being used but mental and physical components also apply to the process of hooking and successfully bringing a meaningful trout to hand. Most who desire advancement in fly fishing understand the need for learning that comes only with experience and practice, and this is where the problem lies in gaining the ability to close the deal when finish line is clearly in sight.

From my own experience and also while watching others, it has become clear that the true drama lies at the very end of a battle between angler and trout. This means that it is not weathering a 100 yard run into the backing or surviving a series of tail walking leaps across the surface. Instead, the most intense pressure occurs when the trout is near surrender and the angler prepares to put the net into action.

Gaining the opportunity to practice netting skills is entirely dependent upon having everything go right prior to the time when the prospect of actually landing the fish becomes real. With an average tippet size of 6X and a fly usually size 16 or smaller, landing a trout in the 20 inch class is seldom greater than a 50-50 proposition. This means that even on a good day when 3 or 4 fish in this category are hooked, there may only be one or two times when the net will actually come into play.

The tendency to become almost uncontrollably excited is a difficult reaction to overcome when it becomes evident that the strength of the fish has begun to wane. In moving water, this generally occurs when it grows weary of revisiting both pressure from the rod and the force of the current.

When possible, leading the fish to shallower water of lower current velocity is preferable to allowing the fish to maintain the advantage of depth and water force. At this point, it is a mistake to allow a false sense of urgency to cancel the practicality of creating a condition that improves the likelihood for a favorable outcome. And while complete calm is seldom possible, applying patience and mental discipline are key in resisting the temptation to rush the netting process.

For a wading angler, the typical landing net features a short handle, a 20-22 inch bow, and a deep mesh bag. And while a net of these dimensions may be rejected by some as being too small, correctly applied landing techniques will usually accommodate a trout of 2 feet and even slightly longer. Carrying a larger net with the notion that its size will cancel poor decisions of technique is, in my opinion, erroneous behavior.

Through trial and error over many years of hunting big trout on the Henry’s Fork and other waters of the western U.S., I have developed preferred tactics that apply when fishing wadeable water. When organized into a systematic process, these principles incorporate proven ways to minimize disappointment at the end of an otherwise successful encounter with a hard earned trophy.

Identification of the best area to control the fish in preparation for landing should be made well before the thought of reaching for the net enters the mind. Often times, simply leading the fish close to the bank and away from the main current will create the advantage needed to overcome its ability to resist capture. Other situations may require moving some distance downstream to access water of less depth and current speed than where the main fight takes place. Trout will use leverage provided by depth and current against the resistance of the rod in an effort to become free from the restraint. This effort intensifies when the angler comes into view, and the close presence of the net can evoke a violent reaction of panic.

A tired trout in slow, shallow water can be more easily held in position while the angler closes the distance between them. Given a choice, I will always position myself upstream from the fish in preparation for landing. Reeling while moving toward the fish is often preferable to trying to bring it upstream, especially if significant distance is involved. Firm pressure with the fishing rod along with slow and careful movement work together in helping to keep the fish calm as final approach is made. Always important in any phase of playing a big trout, concentration is especially critical in the ability to react quickly to any sudden movement that can bring last minute freedom to the prize.

In general, I consider 1½ times the rod length to be the right amount of line and leader separating the rod tip from the fish, and I will not touch the net until this finishing point in the approach is reached. As resistance from the fish becomes noticeably weakened, I will begin to apply upward pressure with the rod while holding the line between the index finger and the handle. With superior control, I can begin to bring the fish into netting position by stripping the line rather than trying to use the reel. As the distance is shortened, lifting the head above the surface with the rod tip will help to negate the trout’s ability to use the current against you because it cannot swim in this condition.

IMG 5963 Moment of Truth   Rene Harrop

With the trout within an arm’s length and aligned with the current, I will free the net from its magnetic holder and position it directly upstream from the exposed head. The body of the trout should be parallel with the surface of the water before the net is lowered to allow the front rim of the bow to pass beneath the head. With the ventral fins as a guide, I will lift the net when the heaviest portion of the fish is directly over the center of the bow, and the rear half will follow into the mesh.

Attempting to chase the fish with the net fully submerged is a surrender of control needed to manage its capture. Excessive disturbance near the fish is assured to cause a forceful reaction as will careless contact with the net. Its instinct is to escape and, sadly, this is what usually happens when a trout is given the opportunity to break free.

No method of net application is guaranteed to result in a successful capture—-there are simply too many things that cannot be fully controlled. However, utilizing proper landing techniques will help to minimize crushing disappointment when complete victory over a special trout becomes the ultimate desire, and the moment of truth is at hand.

Baby names for fishing folk

Naming your child is an important job for a parent – not only do you have to choose something your baby can grow into, it’s important to put something of yourself into your choice too.

Like your love of fishing.

fishing baby Baby names for fishing folk

The perfect baby
Source: Naver Blog

So if you’re expecting, here are some suggestions to mull over next time you’re on the river bank, beach or pier. And why not? If you’re about to become a father or mother – it could be the last time in a long time that your fishing equipment gets an outing.

Sea names

sea Baby names for fishing folk

Plenty of sea inspired names out there
Source: Live Internet

If you’re a sea angler, you’re in for a treat because the briny blue has long been an inspiration for some of our most well loved names.

Boys

  • Dylan – ‘Son of the sea’, this Welsh name is much loved for it’s lyrical and literary connections.
  • Kai – Polynesian twist – it means ‘sea’.
  • Merlin – ‘Sea fortress’ another Welsh moniker and a strong name for a boy!
  • Morrissey – ‘Choice of the sea’ – also a maudlin old rocker.
  • Zale – ‘Sea strength’ from the Greek.

Girls

  • Maria – from Mary – could mean a number of things from ‘lady of the sea’, drop of the sea,’ and ‘Star of the sea’. But be warned, it also means ‘bitter’.
  • Muriel – Irish for ‘Sparkling sea’.
  • Morwenna – ‘maiden of the sea’ a lovely Welsh / Cornish name.
  • Coral – like the reef.
  • Ula – ‘Gem of the sea’.

Fresh water

fresh water Baby names for fishing folk

Fans of freshwater will have to think a little harder
Source: Elijah Prayed

For freshwater fanatics, the choices are a little less conventional in some cases – but there’s nothing wrong with exercising a little imagination.

Boys

  • River – a river. Better than calling a child ‘stream’ or ‘estuary’
  • Finn – means ‘fair’ in Irish, but a fin is part of a fish right?
  • Trent – It’s a river – and a boy’s name. Other rivers might also make good names – but maybe not ‘Thames’ or ‘Humber’.
  • Fry – a baby fish.
  • Elver – a baby eel.
  • Tad – a proper boy’s name, but also the first half of tadpole.
  • Pike – might give rise to ‘don’t tell ‘em your name…’ Dad’s Army jokes.
  • Irving - a nice one this – it’s Scottish in origin and means ‘green water’.

Girls

  • Tallulah – celtic and meaning ‘leaping water’.
  • Pearl – fresh or salt water.
  • Brooke – beware – if she turns out to be a chatterbox, she’ll be a ‘babbling Brooke’.
  • Isis – beware – her tears were believed to cause the yearly flooding of the Nile. Don’t call your child this if you live on the Somerset levels.
  • Lotus - pond plant
  • Lilly – also a pond plant

Best avoided

bigstock Closeup of a cute baby girl ma 48704051 Baby names for fishing folk

“You’ve called me WHAT?!”
Source: Nosnibor 137

  • Bob - Hmm.
  • Rod – a bit obvious don’t you think?
  • Annette – you might think its a ‘keeper’, but will she?
  • Marlow - it’s a glass half empty thing, the name means ‘drained lake’.
  • Marina – nice, but there are many berths in a marina. She won’t thank you for it.

If you know of any great fishing inspired baby names, please share them in the comments below.

Furry fishing gear

Fishing has been around for a very long time and of course in centuries past fishermen didn’t have all of today’s fantastic gear to feed their families.

Not such a big deal when they could rely on animals to assist. Here are a few of the fisherman’s best friends.

Cormorants

cormorant Furry fishing gear

Cormorant fishing has been around since 960 AD
Source: Animals and Society

For thousands of years fishermen in China have used trained cormorants to catch fish. The fisherman ties a snare around the bottom of the bird’s boat, which stops larger fish being swallowed, but the cormorant still gets a feed as smaller fishes slip through the snare. It’s a dying art, but one that has created some stunningly beautiful  images.

Otters

otter Furry fishing gear

Training these guys to fish is now illegal
Source: One More Generation

First developed in China and adopted by India and parts of Europe, otters were once used as a highly efficient means of catching fish. If otters were trained when they were young pups, they would become highly obedient and could be used to catch fish for well over a decade.

The otter would be kept on a long cord attached to it collar and be able to catch fish at a rapid rate. It was common in Sweden for a whole family to be supported by the fishing skills of one otter. The practice of training otters is now illegal due to poachers using them to steal salmon.

Dolphins

dolphins Furry fishing gear

Dolphins can act like sheepdogs for fishermen
Source: Wild Scotland

The Human Planet, BBC’s stunning nature series first highlighted the cooperation between fishermen and wild dolphins of Laguna in Brazil. The dolphins perform a role similar to a sheepdog in herding the shoals of mullet towards shallow water where the fishermen can cast their nets.

Remarkably the dolphins jump out of the water as a means of signalling to the fishermen the exact moment to cast nets and catch as many mullet as possible. The dolphins finish off any escapees.

Rodents

squirrel Furry fishing gear

We’re not a fan of this technique
Source: Pet Karia

Many of you may have heard of the Mongolian swimming mouse, which is the phrase given to a huge bundle of feathers used by fishermen to resemble a small rodent. This is due to bigger fish like the brown trout and taimen being partial to gulping down any small mammal that has the gall to swim overhead.

Taking this method to a darker extreme, fishermen have been known to attach a live squirrel to a hook and sweep it across the waterline to attract fish.

Dogs

Labrador Retriever Furry fishing gear

Man’s best friend, especially when he catches dinner
Source: Next Day Pets

The retrieving instincts of dogs have performed a useful role for fishermen for centuries. Certain breeds like Labrador retrievers and Portuguese water dogs were once commonly used to retrieve fish from the water and assist in bringing the nets back to shore. If the water is shallow enough, dogs can also actually catch fish too as seen recently with flood waters spilling into suburban areas.

Orangutans

orangutan Furry fishing gear

Check out this impressive technique
Source: Primatology

Although not a replacement for your fishing gear (as anything they catch goes down their hatch), orangutans do deserve a mention for their tool-assisted methods of catching fish.

Studies have shown that our closest living relatives watch catfish before using sticks to poke at the fish causing them to jump out of the water where they are caught by the orangutan. Unfortunately we weren’t able to interview the catfish.

World’s most expensive fish dishes

The UK doesn’t have the best cuisine in the world, but we certainly have an appetite for foody show offs.

Meaning our numerous celebrity chefs are always pushing the boundaries (or being stupid) with food. Cue the most expensive ready meal — a fish pie costing £314.

It’s creator Charlie Bigham admitted the pie was pricey, but said (pun-intended) “It is only a drop in the ocean for customers accustomed to the finer things of life”. Which leads us onto exploring what else these people might be eating — time to take a dive into the opulent ocean of seafood.

Bluefin Tuna

blue fin tuna Worlds most expensive fish dishes

Mysterious, rare and very expensive
Source: Ethical Nippon

Severely endangered, the rare and mysterious bluefin tuna is the holy grail of tuna fish. Its raw belly meat is highly prized for sushi and sashimi and its expensive too — very expensive.

One weighing 489lb recently sold for a record $1.76 million at a Tokyo auction, so that works out to $3599 per/lb. Shame it’s too large to be caught with your fishing gear else you’d become a big fish overnight.

Fish soup

The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall  Worlds most expensive fish dishes

Traditional ‘The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’ soup
Source: Wikipedia Commons

There is nothing quite like tasty fish soup, but imagine how good it would taste if you’d paid £108 for a bowl. The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall is the name of the most expensive fish soup in the world and it can be purchased at Kai Mayfair in London.

It contains a wealth of ingredients including abalone, Japanese flower mushroom, sea cucumber and dried scallops. It also used to contain a shark’s fin (although this has been revised due to controversy). If you fancy trying it, you have to give 5 days notice.

Caviar

almas caviar Worlds most expensive fish dishes

The definition of luxury from the sea
Source: La Dolce Vitae

When it comes to the finer things in life, caviar is never far away. And the most expensive variety of them all is the highly prized Almas caviar from Iran.

The Caviar House & Prunier in Piccadilly is the only place in the world that sells it. It comes in a tin made of 24-carat gold and costs around £16,000.

Oysters

oysters Worlds most expensive fish dishes

A slightly more affordable tasty option for foodies
Source: Belly Pleasures

Not as expensive as other seafood, oysters are certainly the most decadent food from the sea and have always been considered a delicacy. Casanova allegedly ate 50 each day and Julius Caesar was rumoured to have invaded Britain in search of its oysters.

He should have headed to the Fal river estuary between Truro and Falmouth in Cornwall where some of the tastiest oysters in the world can be found. Today it’s a special area of conservation, so only boats powered by sail or oar are allowed. It’s also a public fishery, so if you have a licence you can try your luck hand-dredging for oysters.

Lobsters

lobster Worlds most expensive fish dishes

Notoriously pricey seafood nosh
Source: Angela Paige

Along with caviar, lobster has for many years been welcome on the dinner tables of the wealthy. Lobster is also the key ingredient in the world’s most expensive frittata.

Served at Norma’s restaurant in New York, the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata contains 1lb of lobster meat and 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar. It will set you back a cool $1000 if you mistake it for a fancy omelette (which it is).

Fish Curry

Samundari Khazana the World’s Most Expensive Curry – 3200 Worlds most expensive fish dishes

At a cool £2K, this curry includes gold coated lobster
Source: Cooking and Food

Fish curry is arguably India’s finest export after tea, but how much would you pay for a really good fish curry? Well, the most expensive in the world can be found in London (again) at the Bombay Brasserie.

The Samundari Khazana — translated as ‘seafood treasure’ — contains Devon crab, white truffle, Beluga caviar and a Scottish lobster coated in gold! £2000 is how much it will cost you to see that lobster.

Heston’s Sound of the Sea

hestons sound of the sea Worlds most expensive fish dishes

Intensify the taste with an iPod
Source: I Am Into This

Love him or hate him, Heston Blumenthal is certainly unique with his Willy Wonka approach to preparing food. So when he made his version of a fish pie it came served with an iPod. Hmm…

Yes the iPod provides the sound of crashing waves, which apparently intensifies the taste of the pie. Served in a wooden box, the pie appears to be covered in sand and seashells, but is of course completely edible.

Ingredients include tapioca, razor clams, crushed fried baby eels, cod liver oil and langoustine oil topped with abalone, shrimps and oysters and three kinds of edible seaweed. You’ll need the iPod back for when the waiter tells you how much you owe.

More about that ready meal

fish pie Worlds most expensive fish dishes

“It is only a drop in the ocean for customers accustomed to the finer things of life” – pie creator
Source: Trend Hunter

So back to the £315 ready meal. Well, you can order it online and it gets delivered to your house in an aluminium case (handcuffed to a security guard).

Inside you’ll find the usual suspects: Cornish lobster, turbot poached in Dom Perignon, white alba truffles, Beluga caviar and select oysters. Even the salt used is of the highest quality and sourced from Slovenia, so it’s really not the usual fish supper. Though some of us would still opt for a freshly caught fish supper wrapped in newspaper over all of the above.