The paths they follow , it’s in the blood.
Bloody kids , who’d have them , well most of us do . Kate came along 30 odd years ago , with James quickly after , and their fates were sort of written really . Lots are said about things being in the blood , but Kate’s love for horses must stem from Sue’s , and it was obvious that James would support Luton Town , and have the love of fishing that his mum and dad have had for 50 years . We truly can’t think of anything better for kids , they are off the streets , they have a love for the countryside , they learn to fend for themselves , and it’s a passion , like Luton Town that last your whole life . They get to see sights that others miss , fantastic sun rises , awesome sunsets , mist covered meadows , and even travelling aboard carp fishing .
How it started
James came with us from as soon as he could , and often came with us all day . We was conscious that we could have just latched him onto a fair few carp , but I felt he should really be float fishing , something he enjoys to this day , with us all dabbling on canals and rivers . We would sit with my carp rods out on some lake or the other but James would have a waggler float out in the swim having little matches , float bobbing under , with a lot of ribbing over missed bites , lots of laughter . I used to look over sometimes when things were quiet to see him nodding off , fantastic times.
This got him into the Carp Society mag as the youngest ever contribution !
Things changed one fateful day , a day that sort of changed our fishing , both Sue’s , mine , and James to be honest . We had a planned 2 day session over Oxford way with the kids staying over night with both Nan’s . Kate trotted off on the first drop off , happy to be spoilt by her nan , but things were different at my mums !. As we got to the door James turned to me and Sue and said he wanted to come with us !. I explained that it was going to be cold , wet , dark , and sleeping in a bivvie ! , but he was insistent that he wanted to come , and I would never have forced him . We knew from that very point it was in him , and what great times we had .
Mum showing James how to stalk barbel !
We got to fish some great rivers and lakes , and on one of them I decided to help out the carp society by arranging with the owners to run one of the fish-ins that they ran for junior members ( which James was ) . We managed to get the services of some top carp anglers over that weekend ( see blog about horseshoe lake and Tim Paisly ) , and it was a really nice weekend . But Tim Paisley see a new direction to take these weekends , with a carp school !, and I have to say his vision was spot on , and James went on one of these . He stayed the weekend , fishing with Danny Fairbrass ( Korda) and Andy Murray catching some nice fish to over 20lb , and enjoying the tutorials . It was during the casting class that he showed skills that to this day he has , and can say hand on heart that he is the best caster Iv seen !. The idea during the class was to cast to a marker at over 100 yds , then the expert would give you tips to improve your distance etc . When it come to James turn he gave it the big one out towards the float to get the hang of the rod /reel , the second crashed into it and he wound it in , no need for another cast . When I turned up to collect him Danny & Andy told me get was an awesome caster , but was itchy to move swims !!, ha , he still does !.
Winning the local lakes pike match , even though the locals did not like it !
Hang on fella !
This little blog was sparked by Danny Faibrass’s Korda , well one of their Thinking Tackles program’s , where they fished a swim called henman hill at St Johns lake ,casting right across to the far bank , catching fish right in the edge . It was the scene of a piece of quality angling by a young teenager James way ahead of what Korda got up to many years later . We dropped into the swim along with a friend Howard for an over nighter , with James wanting to bang it over to fish he see in the far margin . But !!, instead of crashing a lead right amongst them , he decided to cast very accurately onto the bank above the swim between two bushes , he then walked round and pulled a bait on the hair rig before gentle lowering the rig in by hand . This was a awesome tatic , and just as we sat drinking coffee in the evening I herd James buzzer scream and getting into his swim he was attached to obviously a good fish ! . Playing the fish back to his net I kept the banter up with the lads around us , who were really struggling for a bite . The fish ended up being a fantastic scaled 20lb+ mirror , pic taken he slipped it back at our feet , then turned to me and said ” the cast back over in the fading light will be interesting ” .
Aged 7 , hitting the island at 60 yds , he ain’t lost it .
He was right , the light had gone but he was keen to get it back on the spot . As the cast was diagonally across the wide bay , so clipping up was not that helpful . Then a genius idea !! , he clipped a chemical nightlight to the hook , and with me on the far bank he banged a cast as strait as he could , judging the distance perfect . It was weird seeing the glowing stick flying towards me , but it worked perfect landing 10ft onto the bank at my feet . He popped round pulling a grange boillie on the hair and lowered it into the dark water . Back round at his rods he just tightened up to the bait , and we cracked open the coffee mugs again . I was laying asleep when his buzzer woke us again , I knelt at his side with the net as he played another good fish across the bay , Howard standing swearing behind us I lifted the net around a classic leather carp into low 20lb+ again . Cue the flying light sabre trick , again it was spot on in the pitch black through the gap in the bushes . Repeating the baiting up/ tightening up we hit the sack , with Howard wandering off into the night grumbling !!!. In the early hours for the third time his buzzer woke me , we giggled in the dark as he played a powerful fish , and the perfect hatrick hit the spreader block , a mid twenty common !!!, although Howard was less than happy to get out of his sleeping bag to have a look !. We left after he lost another good fish in some heavy weed , to be replaced by a couple of lads we knew . His lovely little swim he sneaked two rods in became a machine guns nest with 6 bowstring tight rods crashed into the rapidly disappearing fish , they blanked !.
He loved winter fishing !
It’s through James love of nipping over to France carping that has lit my fire , he has had many trips , good and bad , but I’m sure we will be doing many more . Also had lots of trips with me and Sue barbel fishing , with some right laughs , including trips float fishing on the canal where he showed how to get the float in those tight little spots !. Me Sue and James have spent many hundreds of hour on lakes and rivers , and we would never have it any other way , and look forward to the nice txt and calls we get when he is fishing somewhere and we can’t !!!!. It’s also nice to know that the path to the water burns in him , always will !!.
Winter carping , great coffee maker !.
I left him spoding at range for me , got back to find him winding in mid twenties !
An inspiring capture , he borrowed a carp rod off Dazza as he spotted this catfish taking fry from the surface , casting a trimmed down popup he stalked this in front of a lot of doubters !, awesome angling !
From that roach , to this , fantastic times mate
James teaching Sarah how to trot from the boat !
Big thanks to Mark Anderson for writing another great article.