Archive | BITS’N’PIECES

FullSizeRender-9

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-3

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-2

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-8

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-7

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-4

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-6

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), […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-5

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-11

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-4

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-6

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-1

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-3

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-5

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-9

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-4

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-5

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-3

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-1

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender

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 […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-1

Matt Hayes

Anyone who is a regular viewer of fishing programmes on the satellite channels will know Matt Hayes almost as well as they know themselves. Having appeared in over 200 television programmes, Matt has recently become a familiar face on terrestrial television too – acting as a judge on BBC2’s Earth’s Wildest Waters – The Big […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-5

Tiger fish

The last episode of the recent BBC2 series Earth’s Wildest Waters – The Big Fish, found the three finalists in Zambia, south-central Africa, where they tackled the mighty Zambezi River. The target species was the tiger fish (Hydrocynus Vittatus), a fearsome looking fish with teeth so prominent that resident judge Matt Hayes compared its dentistry […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender

Piranhas

Ah, the late seventies…..a time when music was real, man…. The Sex Pistols were busting the establishment with Never Mind the Bollocks.., The Clash were fighting the law, and out of Brighton came The Piranhas – a ska band whose cover of Tom Hark had people shimmying around disco halls right across the country. Despite […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-6

Crooked Lines

Widely regarded as one of the finest angling writers of his generation, Dominic Garnett must have felt a little directionless of late. The publication of Fallon’s Angler Issue 5 sees Garnett reaching the pinnacle of his career. As contributor to five consecutive issues of Mighty Mr Fallon’s meteoric manuscripts (Fishpool is still angling for that […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-8

The Zambezi

Aaahhhh – all together now! – ‘Zambezi, Zambezi, Zambezi, Zam, I’m on me way,’ – who could forget such timeless lyrics? Written by Nico Carstons and covered by a host of artists such as Acker Bilk, Chet Atkins and (most memorably for Fishpool, at least) The Piranhas, ‘Zambezi’ must be one of the most infuriatingly catchy […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender

Coalfish

Regular readers of Bits and Pieces (though surely there can be no such thing as an irregular reader?) will be only too aware of the pattern found among many of the fish featured. All too often the species in question is either in decline or facing extinction, and though this particular fish might not be […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-4

Arctic Charr

Though fairly rare in the British Isles, the Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) is quite widespread across the deep lakes of Scotland, with populations also found in Ireland, Wales and the Lake District. This is a fish of coldwater that is found throughout the northern hemisphere, with a particular abundance in Norway. In some areas they […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-1

Powerlines

Anyone fortunate enough, and sensible enough, to be a regular reader of Fallon’s Angler will be familiar with the brilliantly left-field scribblings of Dexter Petley. This is a man who writes quite unlike any other, and he is clearly inspired by those who also follow literary paths of their own. In 2009, The Raven Press […]

Continue Reading
FullSizeRender-9

Christmas Nosh

The New Year inevitably brings with it a tinge of regret when those extra pounds (or kilos) around the belly first show themselves on the scales. But gluttony is thankfully a mainstay of our festive season, and resolutions are quickly made (and broken).  It is popularly believed that it was Henry VIII’s fondness for turkey on Christmas Day […]

Continue Reading

Kingfisher House, 21-23 Elmfield Road, Bromley, BR1 1LT, United Kingdom