Author Archive | Fishpool

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A birthday on the Thames

Photography and words by Matt Minter What do you get for a man who, at the great age of 80 years, has all the material things accumulated from a life well lived? A day’s autumnal angling seemed just the ticket, so along the banks of the nation’s river—old father Thames just above Oxford—a somewhat motley crew […]

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Friday Allan’s Fangler (FAF) – June 2017: the feeding of the 250,000 (and more)…

The feeding of the 250,000 Fishpool is properly pooped. To be honest, I wasn’t going to bother with Glastonbury this year, the line-up was alright but the atmosphere hasn’t been the same since the early 80’s. It was real back then, with proper musicians whose heads weren’t up their own backsides. My mate Lord Buckethead […]

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Friday Allan’s Fangler (FAF) – March 2017, and on time!! Yeehah!!!

Trumping marvellous Editor Fallon tends to get nervous when Fishpool talks politics. Hardly surprising really, given my rather unusual stance that encompasses Far-Right Liberalism with Globalised Nationalism and Feminist Mormonism. So when I suggested that I begin the round up of March’s news with a story involving China, a giant orange slug and an odd […]

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Friday’s Allan’s Fangler (FAF, and terribly, terribly late February 2017)

Pathetic Sea Monsters Remember the Pathetic Sharks? Of course you do, it is barely 18 months since Fishpool last reminded you of them (http://fallonsangler.net/the-pathetic-sharks/). Well, last month we were offered one of the more pathetic sea monster stories of recent years. In fact, it makes the Pathetic Sharks seem nothing more than ‘mildly crap’, perhaps […]

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Allan’s Fangler December 2016

No Surprises After a year of sometimes eye-opening decisions, The British Record Fish Committee (BRFC) delivered a dose of common sense at the beginning of the month by rejecting the latest carp claim. The fish, known as ‘Big-Rig’, had already created more friction in the carp world than a Supreme Court Judge at a UKIP […]

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Friday’s Allan’s Fangler (FAF): August 2016 (even more-even more belatedly)

Kissing with Confidence Barbless hooks, keepnets, unhooking mats, net dips, boilies, nuts, cancerous maggot dyes, night fishing, multiple rod use, braid, bent hook rigs, gaffs, knotted net meshes, floating poles, fixed leads and leads that drop off, bolt rigs, spears, harpoons, hand grenades……….we’ve argued them all to death, but a recent Angler’s Mail focussed on […]

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Swallows and amadans

By Maurice Neill THERE are more words for a fool in Irish than in any other language and it takes a particular type of angling amadan to venture into the Galway Gaeltacht and onto Lough Mask when the forecast is for bad weather. It is a beautiful, vast and dangerous piece of water where squalls […]

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Friday’s Allan’s Fangler (FAF): May 2016

The Pelican’s not so brief Something rather large has been causing a stir in Cornwall over the past month. A Dalmation pelican was first spotted on May 9th, and has been drawing birders from across the Country ever since. Believed to be the same individual that was seen in Poland earlier in the year, some […]

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Vendace

The Lake District in Cumbria is one of the most unspoilt areas of England. Though hugely popular with tourists, there are secluded spots where even on a sunny bank holiday, you can feel as though you are the only person on earth. The largely glacial lakes have long been popular with anglers, with trout, charr […]

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Herring

Ah, the herring. Now here is a species that, unlike the vendace/powan/gwnyiad/schelly, can be discussed succinctly and without any confusion… …unless of course, one forgets to consider the Pacific and Araucanian herrings or the (rather large) freshwater family Clupeidae, or various other fish around the world, that are known as ‘herring’. So, before the madness […]

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Herring Tales

Fishpool stumbled across a rather interesting book recently. Having himself been born near a Herring fishing port, the author and journalist Donald S Murray has penned Herring Tales – How the Silver Darlings Shaped Human Taste and History, in which he explores the impact that the herring has made upon industry and sociology through the […]

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Haweswater

In the wilds of Cumbria, on the Eastern edge of the English Lake District, sits Haweswater. Originally a natural lake, damming construction began at Haweswater in 1929 after the Government passed an Act allowing the work to take place in order that a water supply for Manchester be established. Despite significant opposition, work was completed […]

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Clovelly

Tucked into the north Devon coast, overlooking the Bristol Channel is the small village of Clovelly. Though no longer supported by the fishing upon which it became established, Clovelly is a magnet for tourists, drawn by the steep cobbled streets and chocolate box cottages. Clovelly is privately owned, and the houses, many of them wattle […]

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Fish wives

Herring fishing was once a big industry throughout northern Europe and North America. As vast shoals of fish were located and plundered before being readied for shipment across both continents, entire communities were founded upon this single process. As Donald S Murray explains in Herring Tales, though the fishing itself was undertaken almost exclusively by […]

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Jabberjaw

Fishpool was in a glorious state of reminisce earlier in the week – and was suddenly struck by the mental image of a drumming great-white shark. For anyone else who may have forgotten, The Neptunes are a band from the future. Purveyors of ‘rock’ music, they are a five-piece, made up of teenagers Biff (guitars), […]

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River Tiddy

The rivers of Cornwall have long had an association with the Atlantic salmon. Spate rivers such as the Taw, Torridge and Camel have drawn anglers from all over the country, and despite the decline on salmon numbers, produce good fish every season. In south-east Cornwall another salmon river flows unnoticed by many. The Tiddy is […]

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Taxonomy

Fishpool read a fascinating book last year by forager extraordinaire John Wright. Entitled, The Naming of the Shrew, Wright leads us through the subject of taxonomy. Why and how things living were and still are classified. It was a mighty good read, and led Fishpool to ponder the naming of some of our oft-caught fish […]

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Nile Tilapia

Now a familiar sight on supermarket fish counters, the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is, alongside the Mozambique and blue tilapia, one of the most important commercial fish species in the world. Native, as the name suggests, to Africa and the Middle East, this fast growing species is now farmed throughout the world, with more than […]

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Intrepid Deluxe

Being only 21 (or thereabouts…), Fishpool only recently discovered that there was life before the 21st Century. Apparently, the was a time called ‘The 1960s’, when people drove round in yellow submarines powered by flowers, and everyone flew to the Isle of Wight on a Jefferson Aiplane where they rolled stones and reminisced about Snoopy’s […]

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My River

Written by Greg Freestone There’s a river not far from here. It’s a miniature river, a Trumpton river winding through toy-towns and out into their rural hinterlands, flowing beneath hilltop churches, through ancient fords and under bridges, draining and watering this ever-thinning strip of old farming Essex, a shallow agricultural valley still surviving against constant assault […]

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Ide

Common across much of Northern and mainland Europe, the ide (Leuciscus idus) does not naturally occur in Britain, though populations are becoming established in an increasing number of our rivers. The golden and blue varieties of the ide (more commonly known as orfe) have long been stocked as ornamental fish in garden ponds or in […]

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Sailfish

There is some conjecture as to whether there are one or two species of sailfish in our Oceans. Some bodies recognise the Atlantic (Istiophorus albicans) and Indo-Pacific (Istiophorus platypterus) as separate species, yet they are anatomically the same and most authorities only recognise the single species – platypterus. Despite so often swimming stubbornly against the […]

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Backwaters

While reading of Vic Gent’s First Casts in Issue 5 of Fallon’s angler, one particular sentiment struck a chord. Vic describes his early efforts on the River Nene upstream of Peterborough, and more specifically a small backwater that could only be fished from a boat. Such a place sounds heavenly, especially, Fishpool suspects, through the eyes […]

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Little Egret Press

Formed in 2001, The Little Egret Press was created to supply books of quality, not quantity. A writer himself, Tom O’Reilly founded the Little Egret Press in order to combine his love of writing, illustration, typographical design and bookbinding. With start-up assistance from The Prince’s Trust (HRH The Prince of Wales is a continued supporter […]

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New Year

Words by Nigel Ling New Year’s “fabled infant” comes to me stillborn. After the festival of Christmas I cannot shake off January’s slump; the winter bears down, the dim fairy lights in house windows, waiting on Twelfth Night, are relics of a better time. Fishing in January is usually hard; floods are expected and cold […]

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Bitterling

Though not native to the British Isles, the bitterling (Rhodeus amarus) warrants a mention in Bits and Pieces not least for being one the four species for which Dennis Flack held the British Record for simultaneously, but also for a couple of rather peculiar attributes. The bitterling is a small fish, not unlike a roach in […]

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Ruffe

The poor old ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua) tends to spend his life overlooked. He doesn’t grow very large (the British record is a little over 5oz while Small Fish Catcher Extraordinaire Dennis Flack has caught them to a little over 4oz), and his presence is traditionally seen as a sign that more desirable fish are not. To […]

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Pye in the Sky?

As Fishpool was nosing through the 1963 edition of the Anglers’ Annual, a familiar name caught his or her eye in the Coarse Fishing Catch Review section. Captor of one of the biggest pike of the year (a fish of 32lb from Hickling Broad) was Dennis Pye. A further glance below at the rudd report […]

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Silver Bream

It struck Fishpool recently that though Bits and Pieces has featured both the bronze bream and its juvenile form the skimmer (and the saltwater black bream to boot…), these hallowed pages have yet to feature the rather lovely silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna). The silver bream are far smaller than their bronze cousins and, at first […]

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The madness of cold water carp

Words by Jon Berry I have just been carp fishing, not in itself unusual, except it is something I never do at this time of year. It wasn’t a bivouacked endurance test in thermals, wet gloves frozen to fingers, slack lines freezing in cat ice—more a casual few hours with an Avon rod, a pocket […]

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Whiting

We may be experiencing one of the mildest winters on record, but the sea is still a tough proposition at this time of year. Many fish move offshore or head south to warmer water, but in turn species will enter British waters from further north. One species that is particularly common through the cold months […]

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Cuttlefish

Yes, Fishpool is well aware that the cuttlefish is not technically a fish, but as Dominic Garnett proved in Fallon’s angler Issue 1 (and Fishpool mentioned in Bits and Pieces Issue 7), squid and cuttlefish can be successfully targeted with rod and line. The most frequently encountered species in British waters is the common cuttlefish […]

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Barracuda

The late 1970’s – in Britain Punk still ruled, though the Ska sounds of bands such as The Piranhas were becoming increasingly influential. Meanwhile, in the US and Canada, Heavy Metal was giving way to Rock. Bands like Survivor, Rainbow, and Chicago were adding harmonies and soaring guitar solos to hard-edged bass riffs, and among […]

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