Stacks Image 6371

My passion for fishing first started almost by accident when, in 1984 while I was working as a Head Chef in a hotel near Ludlow, Shropshire, I was at a loose end on one of my days off. My brother John, who has been fishing since I can remember, invited me to go chub fishing on the river Teme in Ludlow. He lent me a 6-foot fibreglass rod and reel and we set off early in the morning to get to his favourite spot. I was amazed at my brother’s skill as he landed several nice chub to four pounds before I even had a bite. However, it wasn’t long before I too had a a keep-net with several nice chub up to about three pounds in it. Needless to say it didn’t take me long to acquire my own tackle. My brother and I often went fishing together and we fished most of the river Teme around Ludlow, Ashford Carbonell, Little Hereford and Tenbury Wells, as well as fishing some of the lakes and pools around South Shropshire such as Walcot pool, Bache pool and Kyre pool. We caught most of the species that inhabit these waters, but the fish weren’t record busters and I was developing a hunger for monster fish. I had been talking to some of my angling friends and they informed me of a fishery not far from Ludlow that contained carp, and double-figure fish were plentiful there. Docklow, was for me, a magical place. I fished there regularly and became a member. I caught many carp but still the double-figure fish eluded me until one very hot summer afternoon, when I managed to land a 10.5lb carp off the top using floating bread.

I joined the Carp Society, so I could maybe be in with a chance to fish the famous Redmire Pool and in the autumn of 1995 I was rewarded with a weekend at the legendary water. I landed a personal best common carp of 21.25lb with just two hours’ fishing remaining. I had to wait two years before I saw Redmire again and this time it was a very wet August bank-holiday weekend. Again, on the Sunday morning with time rapidly running out, I caught a gorgeous common carp and claimed a 31.25lb fish.

In 2001, I met a lovely young lady who had previously lived in Adelaide, Australia and while she was fairly content in England, her heart yearned to go back to Oz. What could I do? I sold most of my belongings, but by far the worst thing to sell was my prized fishing tackle. I had to let them all go for next to nothing as the deadline for my flight to Australia was rapidly approaching. My angling career has taken a downward turn since emigrating. For one thing, the weather is too hot to be sat out fishing all day; secondly, all I seem to catch are bream (pronounced ‘brim’!) and thirdly, how on earth is anyone supposed to concentrate on fish when you have blonde, sun-bronzed, bikini clad beauties constantly drifting by. Anyway, I seemed to have digressed slightly and I have managed to catch the aforementioned brim, sand whiting, stingrays, tailor, dart, Australian bass and some brightly coloured wrasse. I’d just like to say: I don’t half miss those lily covered pools and crystal clear streams. Give me a brightly painted hand-made quill float and a tin full of maggots and you’ll make me a very happy man indeed.

Something Fishy includes tales of the greatest angling mysteries, including the ghost of Redmire, mysterious goings-on at Woldale, the Hawk Lake Monk and a floating head. We dare you to take this night fishing! (Leather bound copies only available.)