Best British sea fishing blogs

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Sea FishingHow do you fancy some autumn angling reading?

The nights are drawing in, so we’ve scoured the Internet to bring you some solace when dark stormy evenings stop you from getting to the shore.

Here’s our selection of the best British sea fishing blogs:

British Sea Fishing

british sea fishing

Here’s a great resource for sea anglers everywhere. British Sea Fishing is a one-stop information shop for everything connected with your favourite hobby.

Ever struggled to identify an unusual catch? There’s a comprehensive fish identification guide here that covers everything from round fish to sharks, eels and more.

Are you new to sea fishing, or looking to improve your technique? Check out the information section where you’ll find among other useful gems, a guide to avoiding snags. Top tip: Choose a stiff rod for pulling tackle through weed, and go for a reel that enables quick retrieval.

Fishing and Foraging Wales

fishing and foraging wales

Pro fishing guide and foraging expert, Matt offers you a taste of how, “ancestors may have felt in days past where the seasons and hunting and gathering were so important.” If the pics of all those people catching are anything to go by, we’d say our forebears must have been pretty pleased.

This month, Matt’s blog reflects on the long summer season and looks forward to November which, he says, holds so much promise of that elusive prize, a big bass. If you’d like to join him for some fishing and foraging, places are booking up fast!

Matt’s a true steward of the coast and countryside, even educating his MP about the potential for a sustainable wildness industry in Wales. Want to find out how you could do the same in your area? Check out his blog post.

Light Rock Fishing

LRF blog

Join the light rock fishing revolution, Adam says, and find fun fishing. He certainly has. An advocate of fishing for “what’s under your nose” means even the most unpromising of locations offers fun times when he’s got a spare hour or so.

To put his money where his mouth is, he entered the British Street Fishing champs – eight urban marks – and guess what? He won. If that’s not a good reason to check out his blog for ideas and tips, we don’t know what is.

From horse mackerel off Weymouth to to a sport of LRF in Skiathos, Adam offers an irreverent take on life coupled with obvious angling know-how. You’ll love it.

Dean Pilgrim

dean pilgrim

Mad keen sea angler and blogger, Dean says: “Check out my blog for catch reports, kit reviews and my general fishing related antics.”

We did and we liked what we saw. Dean loves his lure fishing and if you do too, you’ll love his insights on the art of snagging a whole range of species this way.

Speaking of which, Dean’s latest foray to the shores of his beloved South Cornwall coast saw him bag a “wrasse on steroids”. Want to know what fish he’s talking about? Better check out his blog then!


fishing blog

Here is a blog that does exactly what it says on the tin: “Sea fishing tips to make you a better angler.” What’s the best anti crab rig? What’s the best way to use a soft plastic lure? What are the best baits for fishing the North sea?

You’ll find the answers to all these questions and more, including an interesting piece on fishing insurance. Add it up and you might be surprised just how much your fishing equipment is worth, and of course there’s always the chance of accident or injury. Find out how to make sure you’ve got the risks covered.

But what really makes the aptly named, fishing-blog stand out is the quality of the jokes… “What does a fish say when it swims into a wall? Dam.”

Fishing Tales

fishing tails blog

What do Poldark and pollack have in common? A summer trip to Cape Cornwall saw blog author, pro fishing guide and angling fanatic, Sean McSeveney bag a few nice pollack just a stone’s throw from where the new series was filmed.

And now you have the chance to benefit from Sean’s 40 plus years angling experience. He’s teamed up with none other than River Cottage, to offer a fabulous Shoreline sea fishing and cookery course.

With Sean as your guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about fishing from the beach, and afterwards, you’ll take your catch to the kitchen to clean and cook it to perfection.

British Disabled Fishing Association

bdaa sea fishing

Are you disabled and would just love to get into angling? BDAA offers training and practical help for you and your friends, relations and carers to get you fishing.

Anyone affected by disability will know just how great it is when fisheries work to make their facilities accessible to all. By providing expert help and guidance, BDAA also plays a leading role in helping to integrate disabled angling into fisheries across the UK and beyond.

Why not add your voice to the growing campaign to make angling more accessible? Becoming a friend of BDAA is a great way to show your support for the great work this charity does to champion disabled anglers, and their friends, families and carers.

Through the gaps

through the gaps blog

For a true taste of seafaring life, you can’t go wrong with this salty blog! Newlyn fishermen make their livings sailing their sturdy fishing boats, “through the gaps”, out into the sea to bring you the best seafood the Cornish coast has to offer.

Fancy owning your own piece of maritime heritage? The Falmouth working boat, Endeavour is up for sale. But if you’re from out of port, you’ll have to wait to see if anyone local wants her first!

No matter how far from the sea you live, you’ll love this blog. Keep your eye on the weather in the Western Approaches, watch all the action via the webcams in the Port of Newlyn, and track the whereabouts of the Newlyn boats live as they catch your tea!

Anglers Afloat

Anglers afloat in kayak

Here’s everything you could possibly want to know about kayak angling, all in one place. Product reviews, the low down on the latest angling tech, tournament news and more.

Interested in customising your boat and rig? Check out the “projects section”, for inspiration and ideas. Need to know how to make simple repairs, fit a sail kit, or install a flush rod holder? This is the section for you.

Anglers Afloat is also UK’s largest forums for kayak anglers. With over 4000 members, it’s a fantastic place to interact with fellow enthusiasts. Highly recommended.

Lure and Light Game

lure and light game

What do you do if your local beach yields nothing but weever after weever? Carefully remove it from the hook and keep on fishing! Lee was glad he did, bagging a flounder, and on metal too. Did the flatty mistake his lure for crab?

If you’re into LRF (light rock fishing) with lures, this is the blog for you. Lee’s angling exploits around the North Wales coast are full of inspiration and ideas.

Do make sure you check out some of Lee’s videos too, it’s a new medium for him, but you’ll certainly enjoy the footage – anyone for some chilled out mackereling?

Luke Fox

luke fox blog

Sometimes there’s nothing better than kicking back and enjoying reading about somebody else’s fishing exploits. So why not let Luke entertain you with some fishy tales from his adventures around the Cornish coast?

Are you into lure fishing? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Luke describes himself as a lure fisherman exclusively and his myriad photos of catches large and small will soon have you reaching for your fishing rod and tackle

Speaking of which, do make sure you check out Luke’s “tools of my trade” page to see what he’s using to such good effect!


lurethatfish blog

Lure and bass fisherman Keir Sims says his September sucked! But it wasn’t the fish that were to blame. First the boat engine stopped dead, then the car engine blew up. But surely it wasn’t as bad as all that? If the pics are anything to go by, Keir and his mates didn’t do too badly!

In fact, they were definitely reeling in some decent bass last month, so make sure you check Keir’s blog to see what he’s using. Hint: white DoLive shad is one of the options that seems to be doing the trick.

Need a little inspiration to get you out of the house and down to the beach? Keir’s gallery features some very tasty shots featuring a range of specimens in stunning locations.


Tidelines Blog

Wow! All we can say is, what a cod! No wonder Martin looks overjoyed. Scroll down through this excellent blog, and you’ll soon come across another of the author’s fine catches – this time a four pound perch.

It was Martin’s uncle who first kindled his nephew’s passion for angling, when he brought a trout home from the River Cessnock. Martin was seven at the time, and in the decades since he has lost none of his enthusiasm for the sport.

Which is great news for the rest of us, because Martin writes a great sea fishing blog. Do check out his recent video, “Good times on the Ebro”. Here’s Martin’s intro: “Losing good fish is never easy, when this happens on the last day and the fishing’s already rock hard, well… those damn Zander!” Sounds intriguing.

UK Bass

uk bass blog

Check in to UK Bass Blog to catch up with the latest campaigns to save the sea bass from overfishing and find out what you can do to help. You’ll find a link to the Save our Sea Bass Campaign page as well as the latest bass conservation news.

Of course, protecting sea bass doesn’t mean not catching them. Data collected from several thousand BASS members reveals that when it comes to landing a whopper, not all days are the same.

The tidal cycle it turns out, strongly influences catch rates. So when should you go after bass? Springs from April to the end of October.

Whitby Sea Anglers

Whitby sea anglers

North Sea Stocks – improving. Bluefin tuna spotted off the South West coast. These headlines alone should tell you that Whitby Sea Anglers have their fingers firmly on the UK’s sea fishing pulse.

Read all about a shark attack off Whitby. Luckily there was no “Jaws” style drama; a Porbeagle tore chunks out of an unlucky cod. The boat skipper takes up the story:

“The porbeagle must have been 8ft long and around 400lb in weight, and a very big fish. It was a pleasure to see such an awesome predator in action.” If you want a blow by blow account of the action check out the blog. You won’t regret it, it’s full of news, tips and insights from the Whitby sea anglers’ watery world.

Fishtec’s Top 10 Predator Facebook Pages.

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Lets face it, time is a precious commodity, and while there is often plenty of it whilst you sit there blanking whilst waiting for that elusive run, there’s seemingly none when you get home to the family.

As such many anglers are now turning to the pure ease of Facebook for sharing their catches and experiences. Facebook gives anglers the freedom to express their fishing lives as and when they like at the simple touch of a screen, right there on the bank, with no need to log on to a desktop PC or edit a blog or webpage back home. Judging by the number of new facebook pages springing up all the time It looks to us like convenience really is winning the day on the digital scene.

There is little doubt that predator fishing, both with lures and bait, is a hugely popular and fast growing area of the sport. This time of year see’s predator fishing activity increase drastically when other disciplines are winding down for the winter. One of the best ways to keep in touch with this growing angling discipline is to give these awesome Facebook pages a like!

In no particular order here are our top 10 predator Facebook pages:

1. Savage Gear.

Simply the number one Facebook page to see dribble-inducing pictures of massive pike, zander, perch and about anything else that will take a lure! Mads Grossel and the Savage gear team have come up with the most innovative and effective predator fishing lures you have ever seen. This page is THE place to keep up with new product developments, tackle and techniques.

2. Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain.

Britain’s largest single species predator group, the PAC works for the future of pike and pike fishing. The PAC is a fantastic organisation to be a part of, where anglers from all over Britain unite to protect the welfare of the pike. If you’re a beginner to pike fishing, or need some guidance on the fishing tackle you need, and how to catch and care for your quarry then these guys are well worth a like.

3. The Pikester.

Jon Shoreman is a technologically minded pike hunter who loves sharing his catches and wisdom on his interesting facebook page. Jon is a common sight on famous pike waters such as Chew, Llandegfedd and the Scottish lochs. With his trademark hat and GoPro at the ready, you really cant miss him! Outstanding images, action video footage and some interesting photoshop work make this a very cool page to visit.

4. Adventures of a river Piker.

Nathan Edgell’s love for river piking genuinely comes through on this page. He posts gorgeous images that really capture the magic of being on the river at the crack of dawn on a cold frosty winter morning, or at sundown, float-watching in the mist waiting for that one special run. Oh, and he also regularly catches plenty of huge pike, with several 30lb plus river leviathans to his name!

5. Mick Brown fishing – Every picture tells a story.

You already be familiar with Mick Brown. A predator angler based in the midlands, Mick has written many excellent books on pike and has appeared in numerous TV series. Known as one of the nicest guys in fishing, Mick has accumulated countless thousands of photographs over his angling career and this page has been set up to share those images. Mick regularly posts his historic catches and explains the unique and quirky story behind each one. This page is a highly entertaining retro fish catching experience and is well worth a like in our opinion.

6. The Only Way is Esox.

A wonderful accumulation of striking and unusual pike pictures from around the world. Killer fishing lures, pike related humour and witty memes can all be found on this awesome page. If you are an completely obsessed esox hunter, then this is definitely the page for you!

7. Pike-in-lens.

The concept of Pike-In-Lens is ULTRA cool pike fishing shots. On this community page, you will find numerous jaw dropping images of pike in all of their savage glory from across the UK, Europe and beyond. If you like pure ‘fish porn’ then you’ve just found your nirvana.

8. Water Wolf.

If you are a mad keen predator angler then you must have heard of Water Wolf. These cameras are much loved by lure fishermen for their ability to capture pike strikes and unseen follows to your lures. There really is a whole new world down there, and this page gathers up the very best exciting predator footage for you to marvel over.

9. Irish Pike Fishing.

Pike is a long-persecuted and maligned species in Ireland. But the tables are now turning with the rise in popularity of predator fishing. Esox enthusiast Philip Cairnduff set this page up for people who love fishing in Ireland mostly for pike, but also other Irish species. Not only will you find brilliant fishing, but also some breathtaking scenery captured on camera during Irish fishing pike adventures. This page will give you the motivation to get up and dust off them rods and get onto the bank in search of mean green fighting machines.

10. River Piker – A lure anglers Diary.

Paul Bosworth’s excellent pike page is dedicated to flinging lures into UK rivers in search of esox of any size. As well as inspiring images of lure-caught pike from all over the country, you will also find some stylish videos. Lets face it, a Prodigy track and mean looking pike = pure awesomeness in our book!

Thin Water and The Elite Trout Taper – Rene Harrop

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American river expert Rene Harrop goes back in time to the start of his season on the famous Henry’s fork river, to begin his year catching ultra picky fish with what has become his favourite fly line of all time.

Entering the second full year of fishing the Airflo Elite Trout line, I had come to believe there was little more to discover with regard to conditions that would challenge the performance of this remarkable new taper. That idea changed rather abruptly when fishing one of my favorite stretches of the Henry’s Fork that opened about a week ago.

October on the Fork.

Fly fishing on the Henry’s fork

Low water typifies the condition of the river just prior to release of water for irrigation purposes from Island Park Reservoir. This year, however, I found the level to be ankle deep rather than knee deep on the shallow side of a broad flat where big rainbows leave the security of depth to feed precariously over an open gravel bottom.

With currents not yet corrupted by aquatic vegetation, the surface was mirror smooth and the difficulty was not one of managing a complicated drift but rather to avoid spooking the fish with a coarse delivery of the fly. The mixture of midges, small mayfly spinners, and a few spent caddis was sparse in number, and the trout showed no favoritism as they cruised the placid flow. This opportunistic feeding pattern placed stronger emphasis on precise accuracy rather than finding an exact imitation that the trout would find acceptable.

Thin water hookup!

Thin water hookup!

By preference, I would have chosen to present the little caddis I had selected from a downstream position. Working from behind the fish usually provides a better opportunity to shorten the required casting distance, but there are times when this approach is not practical. On this late spring morning, an upstream stalk would place a low angled sun at my back creating warning line shadow that even the 20 foot leader could not cancel.

Any approach from upstream would certainly be detected by a wary trout long before I could get into reasonable casting range. Even working in from the side would necessitate 40 feet of line and the full length of the long leader to avoid spooking an alert surface feeder, but this is the route I chose to begin the engagement.

Inching my way to a position 60 feet from a sizeable pair of impressive heads was a ten minute test of patience and discipline, but this effort paid off. A test cast deliberately placed well away from the trout’s position told me the distance needed and how current would influence the drift of the fly. Knowing that everything would have to be perfect with regard to both angler and tackle, I powered the 4 weight toward the nearest rise with a reach cast right, and waited.

Matching the Hatch

Matching the Hatch

A good drift of more than 6” went untouched as the next rise appeared several feet upstream and slightly beyond the first. With no bottom cover to provide protection from overhead danger, it was clear that the trout would not relax into a fixed position, and there would be no pattern to the feeding activity. Fortunately, both fish seemed reluctant to leave a 15 foot feeding perimeter, which made it a game of successfully guessing where the nervous trout might next appear and getting the fly to that location as quickly as possible.

Perhaps 20 minutes and more than a dozen fruitless attempts had passed before everything finally came together and I tightened my fly fishing tackle against the weight of a well-conditioned 20 inch hen. In little more than 12 inches of water, the fight was one of enragement rather than power as the shiny surface was shredded by the panicked trout. Successfully retraining the prize from charging into deeper water on the far side was no small accomplishment with a 6X tippet, and she slipped into my net after a spirited 5 minute battle.

Small Fly Reward

Small Fly Reward

As calm returned to the scene, I didn’t have long to wait before the companion fish reappeared a little upstream and slightly closer to my side of the river. Only about a dozen careful steps were required to bring myself into position to begin round 2.

The game remained the same on the second fish with carefully placed casts that again began to accumulate as the feeding window began to close. With noon approaching and the sun in a higher position, I was able to spot what appeared to be the twin of the earlier fish as she finned only inches beneath the surface. It had been several minutes since I had seen a rise but the cast was true and the dry fly disappeared on the first pass.

A power run directly across stream and a tall leap gave quick freedom to another splendid Henry’s Fork rainbow, but there was no sense of disappointment as I retrieved the line and 50 feet of backing.

Because I live on the river, I would return on the following day and there will be many more at this early point in the year. I am a lucky man.

WIN £100 To Spend With Fishtec

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Fishtec survey Oct 2015
Want to win £100 worth of fishing tackle? Simply complete our survey below to enter our free prize draw.

We’re doing a lot of work at the moment, on understanding what is happening in the world of fishing. The only way we can do this is with your help!

This survey will take less than 5 minutes, and your answers will help us create more interesting fishing articles, blogs and news headlines, plus help us identify what anglers really want.

Closing date: Midnight, 1st November 2015

Reading on a mobile? Take the survey here.

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By entering this free prize draw, all entrants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions:

In the event that any entrant does not, or is unable to, comply with and meet these Terms and Conditions and the prize draw information, Fishtec shall be entitled at its sole discretion to disqualify such entrant, without any further liability to such entrant.

The closing date for this competition is Midnight, 1st November 2015.

The winner will be notified by email, within 30 days of the closing date.

The entrant must complete the survey by answering all of the questions and provide a valid email address to enter the prize draw.

The survey data provided will be used to create Fishtec content.

Email addresses will be used to notify the winner, and may occasionally be used for notifying the entrant of future promotions by BVG Airflo Group Limited.

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10 Great Fly Fishing Facebook Pages

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It’s official… Facebook have now taken over the world! They now have an incredible 1.5 billion users. So what does that mean for fishermen? Well it means that more and more excellent fishing content is cropping up online in the form of Facebook pages and groups.

The sheer ease of accessing Facebook on your smartphone compared to logging into a forum or using a desk top PC to surf the web means that liking a page or joining a group is simply all you need do to keep in touch with the latest fish catches, and find out what the experts and tackle makers are up to!

There are literally thousands of great fly fishing pages out there, far too many for us to list, but we have somehow narrowed it down to our favourite 10 for you! In no particular order:

1. John Horsey fly fishing

John Horsey is the UK’s best known professional fly fishing guide, and a consultant for Hardy and Greys. A former world champion with 22 years guiding experience there are few anglers who can match his achievements. Also a prolific writer and TV presenter, John is a regular on Chew and Blagdon lakes where he chases trout, pike and perch through the season on the fly. Always happy to have a chat and share his vast knowledge, his facebook page allows you to follow his adventures around the globe and at home, including a recent trip to the European rivers fly fishing Championship in Italy.

2. Urban trout and trout in dirty places

UK rivers and beyond are getting cleaner and cleaner and are now full of prolific stocks of trout, grayling and even salmon! This page ties in with Theo Pike’s excellent book and is a great online resource for fish catches in the most unlikely waterways of the concrete inner city jungle.

3. Rutland water fishing lodge

Anglian water’s massive Rutland reservoir is one of our favourite fisheries of all time.  Run by Robbie Winram and his team of rangers, it’s a popular fishery led by fishing experts including respected fly and predator pro, Nigel Savage. Keep up with fish catches and important fly fishing competition results on this fantastic page.

4. Trout Fisherman Magazine

Curious about any aspects of trout fishing? Have your fishing questions answered by the helpful team here! Trout Fisherman is the UK’s first and leading trout fishing monthly magazine. Your main port of call to discover the cutting edge tackle, tactics and venues leading fly fishing experts are making use of to catch more trout. On this page you can also keep up with the latest fishery news, catch images, innovative new fly patterns and the best fishing gear. An essential read in our opinion.

5. Corrib View Lodge & Angling Service

Fancy a bit of escapism across the Irish sea? Then visit Larry McCarthy’s facebook page. Operating from his lodge on the mighty lough Corrib, Larry is a wonderful character, and a pro guide for Airflo. If stunning scenery and catching beautiful wild trout are your thing whilst afloat on 30,000 glorious acres of water, then look no further!

6. Hywel Morgan Fly Fishing

Most fly anglers will recognise the name Hywel Morgan – famed for his multiple fly rod casting prowess, world champion caster Hywel is also one of the best fly anglers in the UK, proficient on both stillwater and river. In recent years Hywel has turned his attention to film making. From fishing vast reservoirs and lochs, smaller stocked venues, pro fly tying, salmon fishing roaring rivers, to pike on the fly rod, you can place your bets Hywel has done it all; and made a fantastic DVD on the subject!

Follow his progress on facebook where you will find plenty of his film content, destination fly fishing adventuring, UK competition updates, tackle and fly tying ideas, plus innovative fishing tips. A very informative and useful page whether you are a seasoned pro or beginner alike.

7. Estancia Laguna Verde

This is purely a ”fish porn” page! You might possibly have heard of Lake Strobel in Argentina, aka Jurassic lake. This unique lake is home to the biggest wild rainbow trout in the world, with pristine fin perfect double figure bow’s being the average stamp of fish.  Estancia Laguna verde is a lodge on the lake that caters to destination anglers in search of their dream trophy fish. Videos and images of these monster trout abound on this page! It’s well worth a like even if you are never likely to pay a visit to deepest Patagonia.

8. Aardvark McLoed

Continuing on the theme of destination fishing, UK based outfitter Aardvark McLeod arrange adventure fly fishing expeditions worldwide. Their experienced team of life long anglers have traveled the world looking for the very best exotic fly fishing locations to take parties of fishermen, in order to experience the catch of a lifetime.Take it from us; these guys really know how to make your wildest fishing dreams become reality!

If you like this page, you too can follow their adventures. From the Seychelles to outer Mongolia, and from the Amazon to arctic Russia and back, you will find videos, trip reports and spectacular images of breathtaking scenery and vivid fish pics all over this page. Remember destination fishing can be affordable to – they regularly post up cancellation deals, and offer excellent value package trips.

9. Paul Proctor Fly Fish

Widely respected author and tackle consultant Paul Proctor has the envious job of fishing for wild trout all over the world. In particular he enjoys fly fishing for stunning native brownies on his local Cumbrian rivers and lake district waters with imitative dry fly patterns. Paul is the The Wild Trout Trust vice president, a qualified AAPGAI instructor and also an experienced guide.  As such many anglers regard Paul to be at the forefront of UK fly fishing, and they would be correct. Be warned – if you get easily jealous at the sight of spectacular spotted flanked wild trout caught on dry flies then do not follow this page!

10. Hardy Fly Fishing

When you think of Hardy you might well conjure up mental images of antique reels, a stuffy salmon fisher wearing tweed,  wicker creels, upstream chalk stream dry fly fishing and maybe even the Queen Mother wetting a fly line at Balmoral. However the modern day Hardy brand is a completely different animal!

Keeping the best of British design and tradition, they incorporate the latest technologies and cutting edge design into their brand, making it ultra modern yet preserving their core values. On this page watch stylish videos and learn about their history and tradition along with beautiful fishing images, Hardy team news and Pro guide tips.  And of course you get to drool over the beautiful shapes of their latest reels and masterfully crafted fly rods. THE ultimate fly fishing gear for the 21st century in our opinion!

Best of the worst catch competition pictures

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angler with boot

Image source: Minerva Studio/ Shutterstock
Fishing that fails

You’ve been sending in some fantastic entries to the Classic Catch competition, and we’ve given you loads of hints and tips for taking the best picture of your prize catch.

Even though some of the pictures entered aren’t quite what we’d call pro-quality, they’ve given us at Fishtec a laugh, so we wanted to share our favourites with you.

Which do you like best? Make your vote, and the picture with the most votes will win a small prize (think of it as an angler’s wooden spoon…).

Look at these four delights, then choose your favourite at the bottom of the page.

Dan Dice's Bewl Water blue trout

Ian Swindlehurst with his catch!

Dan Dice's Bewl Water blue trout

Richard James’ 10 1/2 pound sturgeon at Kingsnordley Farm Quatt, Shropshire

Dan Dice's Bewl Water blue trout

Dan Dice’s Bewl Water blue trout

Dan Dice's Bewl Water blue trout

Rob Bending’s wild river Tawe brownie / Klink & dink in low water.

Make your choice…

Which is your favourite picture?

View Results

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Winning The 2015 Bob Church Classic – Iain Barr

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Anglian water’s Grafham hosted the 28th Bob Church Champion of Champions competition on 27th September. A strong field of 96 anglers from the UK, Norway, Belgium and for the first time Poland, were invited to compete for this FA Cup of Fly Fishing.

Iain with a cracking king Grafham rainbow.

Iain with a cracking king Grafham rainbow.

Conditions were near perfect albeit a little bright but that hasn’t affected the fish on Grafham this year as they remain high in the water.

My game plan was to target bigger fish feeding on shrimp in the margins and stay away from the fleet of boats that were targeting smaller fish in the open water near the Dam and Willows.

Having practiced 2 days before I had taken some belting fish to 5lb in just 3 foot of water in the sailing club bay to sludge point near Gaynes Cove.I couldn’t believe my luck when all boats went racing by leaving the whole shoreline to myself! Surely people had found these fish but I felt the good head of fish at the dam had sucked them in. These big fish were by no means easy but I felt with less boat pressure and the sheer average size would give me the advantage over the 8 hour match.

The killer shrimp fly pattern

The killer shrimp fly pattern

It wasn’t long before my partner, Andy Axon was into a 3lb 8oz rainbow as it tore in to a shrimp pattern I had given him in the sailing club bay. He’s relatively new to this game but mad keen so I recommended he change his set up and switch to a floating line and a Candy Blob and Shrimps which I duly gave him. I have got him on 8lb G3 fluorocarbon and it didn’t let us down! He was also using the new Airflo Blitz fly fishing rod which I had recommended him. We were like twins! Same rods, lines, tippet and flies!

It was a slow start but after 11 o’clock they started to come steadily to the shrimp and blob. As we were in shallow water the trick was to short line as if we were dry fishing so we didn’t disturb too much water and ‘line’ the fish.

By 1230 we had our 4 better fish, Andy actually taking a 5-2 lead at one point! He executed the hang perfectly and this was the trick as most come close to the boat. This included over 6.5lb of fish in a crazy double up that saw the boat beached in the reeds and me reaching over Andy to net his 2nd fish on the point! Great angling Andy!

A candy blob fly

A candy blob fly

A move to open water saw me take another 6, fishing two Candys and Crunchers in the middle, still on the floating line, all but 1 taking the blobs and a coral booby as I was targeting Daphnia feeders.

A fine Grafham brownie

Cracking brown caught on the Airflo blitz rod and a shrimp at the bob church classic

With just 20 mins fishing time left and sat on 10 fish we had one last drift near sludge going in to Gaynes Cove. In a crazy spell I took 6 all over 3lb in the last 20 minutes short lining the floating line with 3 shrimps and the candy blob. Andy took a 6th on a claret bits. The perfect day was complete!

Was 16 enough…. as I had heard of 9s and 10’s when I was sat on 4 fish? The weigh in soon revealed that 16 was the winning margin and with 4 fish for near 14lb I had the best fish too of 4lb 10 with a 14lb clear margin to 2nd place which went to Ray Maylon with 12.

It's great when a plan comes together...Result!

It’s great when a plan comes together…Result!

It’s good when a plan comes together but teamed with the right flies and the right kit for the job, it makes a tough task a little easier.

Tightlines, Iain Barr.


Angling for disaster

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fisherman in small boat with shark

Image source: Andrea Crisante/ Shutterstock
You’re going to need a bigger boat…

Cast your line, sit back in that comfortable chair and breathe in the taste of tranquility as you settle in for another rewarding day of fishing.

Ahh … the sun’s shining, the birds are singing and it’s about as idyllic as it gets.

What could possibly go wrong?

Sealed with a kiss (asbonline)

You won’t believe it! You’ve just caught the biggest fish of your life and are posing proudly for the photograph to show your friends — and then this happens.

We may be top of the food chain, but take your eye of the prize for one minute and there are plenty of smart movers waiting to strike. Outfished!

Bacon butty cast off (Buddy Stump)

Be sure to clean the grease off your hands after eating that bacon butty. There’s a technique to casting, and this isn’t it. Doh!

You may well have been fishing for years, but it’s always useful to freshen up on your casting technique. Michelangelo at Fly Fishing Discounters tells us:

“Fly casting is an art form. Your fly rod is the brush, The fly reel holds the line like an artist’s palette holds his paints. And the fly line is his paint.”

In your face (BlacktipH )

Experienced fisherman, Joshua Jorgensen of BlacktipH Fishing, gets a nasty surprise when trying to land a monster fish out at sea. Top marks to him for staying cool and not turning this video into a raging fishing reel. That’s a nasty injury too.

Goliath strike (Gimbb14)

Good luck can turn rotten in seconds. You’re stoked after landing a 4ft-long shark and it looks like a satisfying day’s fishing. But then the Goliath Grouper turns up and dead shark hits the fan.

After such bad luck there’s only one way to soothe your disappointment and that’s going back out to fish for Goliath Groupers. The question is: Are you up to the job of catching a fish that can weigh as much as 800 pounds? Jamie Hibbert at Fishing Blog says:

“As a result of how heavy the Goliath Grouper can get when it fully matures, it is important to consider getting a strong fishing rod.”

Sharpshooter fisherman targets drone (Life Generation)

How would you react if a noisy drone was disturbing your fish? You’ll be amazed at what this maverick angler does. A bad day’s fishing becomes a bad day’s droning. The noise of that mechanical fly was scaring away the fish, so this one’s a victory for the anglers.

Slipping with sharks (Fish Pelagic)

Whoops! This really isn’t the thing to do when handling a shark, though to be fair, this fisherman doesn’t seem to bothered. Super confident with sharks or just stupid — we’re not sure.

The Shark Trust’s, Shark Handling Guide states,

“If possible, release the shark from the side of the boat, only inboard a fish when absolutely necessary.”

There are many ways to spoil a day by the water – we’ve seen just a few here. What has ruined your angling trips? Tell us what happened on our Facebook page.

Alan Yates Sea fishing Diary October 2015

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The cod season has arrived and an increasing number of anglers are out after them, with catches from all around the UK being much improved on recent years. In some regions it’s possible to catch four fish over 3lb in a session and a few are making 6lb. Reports from various regions include the river Tyne being packed with small codling so the future seasons are also bright there. Inside the Humber estuary codling are showing at Immingham. In the East Anglia codling of 3lb plus are a regular feature of competitions and that shows they are around because the matches are not always organised for the best fishing, more towards social hours and the pub times.

Ian Dancey of Waterlooville, Portsmouth with two cod from Ferry Bridge, Chesil beach

Ian Dancey of Waterlooville, Portsmouth with two cod from Ferry Bridge, Chesil beach

In Kent Dungeness has already produced four codling in one session. Reports of cod from Brighton and Shoreham beaches show the English Channel has prospects, whilst the hot spot on some days is Dorset’s, Chesil beach. The Bristol Channel looks good with Blue Anchor, Dunster beach and Brean/Brean Down the top high water venues. The Fylde coast cod season looks good with codling showing already with fish averaging 1lb to 2lb. Best reports are coming from the northern end of the coast from the west facing beaches like Cleveleys, Dronsfield Road and Beach Road, Fleetwood.

Chesil beach - a great spot for catching cod!

Chesil beach – a great spot for catching cod!

All you need to do is get the sea fishing tackle out and head for the beach or pier, although a good overhaul of you fishing gear might be worth it before you venture out! Especially check you main  lines because they will almost certainly require changing. Look at rod rings for wear and hair line cracks and reels for salt corrosion. Terminal rigs that have been returned from last year’s fishing should be binned and it’s not a bad idea to tie up a few new ones, especially because every season advances in tackle accessories are made and you may miss out on something special.

Check out the TF Gear web site: or for a comprehensive selection of sea fishing equipment.

Bait wise, little beats yellowtail or black lugworm and squid as a front line codling bait, although a few fresh peeler crabs can be deadly on many venues, especially the rough ground and estuaries.

Ben Arnold of Brighton with an 11lb cod from Dover Admiralty pier - it won him the three day pier festival and is the first of the bigger shore cod from Kent

Ben Arnold of Brighton with an 11lb cod from Dover Admiralty pier – it won him the three day pier festival and is the first of the bigger shore cod from Kent


The way you handle your catch has become a far more important issue nowadays with political correctness demanding more attention to fish welfare. Dumping the fish in a fish box as they are caught is still practiced, but some anglers want to kill the fish that they catch, others simply release everything alive.

Personally I eat a lot of the fish I catch and so I do kill what I want to take home, but release those that are unwanted, or I feel need returning. There are of course rules and regulations governing legal minimum size limits and not all fish are legally big enough to retain, but those that are big enough are not always candidates for catch and release simply because many a hook hold is fatal to a fish, especially the small species and those species that always swallow the hook. So it’s an open ended situation and I sometimes take home fish I would otherwise have released. There are of course also catch limits nowadays, the new bass three fish a day is the first of many I think we have to come. Some species are barred from capture, eels, tope, shad to name a few.

Removing hooks is a major problem for a majority of sea anglers and lots of sea fish are killed by anglers who want to return a fish, but simply lack the technique and skill to remove a hook without harming the fish. Some hooks cannot be removed without damage, but the majority can if you know what you are doing. Using a sea fishing disgorger helps although many cannot work the likes of the Gemini effectively. It does take practise; get another angler to show you how.

If you are totally intent on fishing catch and release then use small hooks – these do less damage and are easier to remove. Size 8s or event 10s are not as practically efficient as larger sizes, but far more fish friendly if you can call a hook that. Such freshwater hook sizes being an example for their ease of removal with a simple freshwater stick (Stomfo) disgorger. Another good idea for C&R is to use crushed or micro barbs on hooks which make them easier to remove, barbless is less popular, but again it’s more fish friendly for those fishing catch and release.

Another major issue with fish welfare is handling the fish, grabbing a pouting, whiting, mackerel, etc around the middle, fighting the hook free and then releasing the fish does a lot of damage to the fishes protective, scales and slime coating. I am not in agreement with the theory that ALL mackerel handled die because of this. As a regular coarse angler I handle lots of freshwater fish and because they are caught and released regularly it is well known that they survive handling, although a wet hand, cloth or unhooked in the net, plus gentle handling is more commonly practised in freshwater angling.

At sea a problem is that different species are more delicate, some swallow hooks and some are reasonably tough. Bass for instance rarely swallow the hook and have a tough bony mouth and scaled body making them more resistant to unhooking and handling. Mullet on the other hand shed scales easily and need to be handled with great care. Dogfish are very resilient to unhooking and handling, whilst codling and the rest of the cod family and the other soft fined species are very easily damaged by a hook or handling and a very low percentage of those hooked survive. Dropping fish from a high venue is also a problem although this can be solved by the use of a bucket to net or even hooking the fish on the grip lead wire.

Flatfish are also prone to damage when the hook is removed because of the trap door nature of their mouth, many swim away strongly look like they will survive, but die later. The reality is that with the best will in the world some fish will not survive and it is my personal policy, provided a damaged fish is sizable, that I retain it for the table.

If you have to kill a fish or want to prevent it gasping its life away in the fish box then a sharp blow to the head is still the best method. Most boat skipper use the aptly names “priest” whilst from the shore small fish can be dispatched with the fish measure or knife handle

At the end of the day, fish welfare is and always has been a matter of personal conscience and although anglers may differ greatly in opinion it is totally their own personal decision and no one else’s!!!

Tight lines, Alan Yates


Back End Stillwater Trout Fly Fishing Tips

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Mornings are later, evenings are shorter and there’s already a distinct chill in the air – Autumn is upon us! But that doesn’t mean that our sport has to end. There is still plenty of great back end fly fishing to be enjoyed in late season. Guide and fishing tackle consultant Chris Ogborne has put together some useful trout fishing tips to help you get the best out of this magical time.

A magnificent 9lb 10oz back end Rainbow from Rutland.

A magnificent 9lb 10oz back end Rainbow from Rutland.

1. Get your timing right! There’s little or no point in arriving too early in the morning as the water needs to ‘come to life’ at this time of year. Terrestrials like daddies are at their most active from mid morning and generally it’s the middle hours of the day that will be most productive.

A late season reservoir brown.

A late season reservoir brown.

2. Use Imitative and suggestive patterns. These type of flies are always good at this time of year. The fish are all feeding up ahead of the coming winter and they will respond readily to even a sparse hatch of naturals.

3. Intermediate lines are tops.
The fish are generally found in mid water and the Airflo sixth sense Fast Glass is the line to start with. It’s a great compromise option that allows you to fish with control at varying depths.

 4. Time for a specimen! Not so many stockies about in late season and you have a very real chance of a grown on stillwater specimen. Its great to seek out the residential fish and all the more rewarding when you get one.

A back end specimen Rutland bow' for ex footballer Chris Guthrie. Source: Rutland Water Fishing Lodge Facebook.

A back end specimen Rutland bow’ Source: Rutland Water Fishing Lodge Facebook.

5. Take care when wading. You should always wade with caution, and never more so than at this time of year. The residential fish will be spooky and close in often feeding on fry so there is often no need to plough right in, but careful wading on the big reservoirs is also advisable because normally unseen snags and holes are accessible as levels drop to their seasonal lows.

6. Focus on the afternoon, rather than the evening rise. Temperatures can drop sharply in the evening and whilst this can occasionally result in the bonus of a fall of fly to the water, more often than not the chill of evening will send the fish to the bottom and out of casting range.

 7. Be comfortable! A warm and dry angler is a much more effective angler – you never fish well when your chilled and shivering! Add an extra layer such as the Airflo Thermolite Hoodie and you will fish better. You’ll also enjoy it more – remember there’s a long old winter ahead of us!

Tightlines, Chris Ogborne.