Archive | BITS’N’PIECES

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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 […]

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Bleak

For many anglers, the humble bleak (Alburnus alburnus) is looked upon with little fondness. It is a small fish, the British record is around 4 ½ ounces, that tends to congregate on large shoals and will snatch a bait intended for a quarry far larger. Found predominantly in flowing water, the bleak a long, slim, […]

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The Catch

Fishpool has long been a fan of Channel 4. Aside from giving a massive shot in the arm to the British Film Industry and offering the viewer a diverse and sometimes controversial selection of programming, Channel 4 has also catered for us anglers. Go Fishing, Catching the Impossible and Screaming Reels have all featured in […]

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Brixham

On the southern curve of Torbay in Devon sits the fishing town of Brixham. Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 there is evidence to suggest that a settlement existed here many centuries earlier. Its situation, being protected from the prevailing south westerly winds, made it an ideal spot for a harbour, and while Brixham […]

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Roach

Fishpool recently wrote of the bronze bream, and how many anglers regard the mature adult fish as a separate species to the smaller, juvenile ‘skimmers’. A similar moniker could be levelled at the roach (Rutlius rutlius) – a species that might not change too much in colour and all round appearance as it ages, but […]

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Golden mahseer

Certain species of fish seem to represent perfectly the landscape of their environment. The taimen in the vast plains of Central Asia; the blue marlin in the deep azure of the open ocean; and the golden mahseer (Tor putitora) in the mythical and spiritual waters within the foothills of the Himalaya. The golden mahseer is one […]

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WH Canaway

Born in Altrincham, Cheshire in 1925, William Hamilton Canaway schooled locally and having attended University in Bangor, North Wales, served in the latter stages of Second World War. Canaway was an avid writer, and having returned to Education after his Military Service, then decided to focus full time upon his pen. His first novel, The […]

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A Wye barbel

Before anyone leaps up and thumbs back through their leatherbound Bits and Pieces archives (that is what everyone does with these words each week – isn’t it?), Fishpool is well aware that the barbel (barbus barbus) featured in Issue 14. Sometimes though, rules are made to be broken – and besides, in the world of […]

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Blithfield Reservoir

Formed in the 1940’s and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, in 1953, Blithfield Reservoir covers nearly 800 acres and nestles neatly into the Staffordshire landscape. It was built as a source of freshwater, but also offers opportunities for anglers, walkers and birders. Some of the shoreline and surrounding woodland are only accessible […]

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John Andrews

Having grown up in an environment influenced by the rigours of religion and army-life, John Andrews’ subsequent career in the music industry must have made for quite a contrast. As marketing manager for Creation Records, John lived life at 1000mph – his daily dealings involving bands such as Oasis and Primal Scream. His was a […]

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Zander

Few ‘British’ fish divide opinion quite as much as the zander (Sander lucioperca). A fish non-native to the British Isles but common across mainland Europe, the zander was first introduced into Woburn Abbey Lakes in 1878 by the Duke of Bedford. Though movements of fish were made subsequently, it was not until 1963, when 97 […]

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Atlantic cod

The autumn may have been absurdly mild, with record breaking temperatures and weeks without rain, but as winter nibbles deeper into the tail of the year, so the saltwater anglers prepare for the arrival of cod. The Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) has long been sought by Man. The white flesh makes for excellent eating, whether […]

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Prawns

Back in the dreamy days of childhood, Fishpool recalls a family holiday in South Devon, pushing a shrimp net between the rocks on a flooding tide, and lifting it triumphantly as a great big prawn flicked about inside. It didn’t make much of a meal – in fact, it provided barely a mouthful, but that […]

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The Dragonfly

Unfortunately, another week has passed in which Fishpool has failed to make his or her fortune. When it happens – when – Fishpool will celebrate with the purchase of a split cane rod crafted by Edward Barder and a Richard Carter Dragonfly reel. Richard began making reels in the early 1990’s, when he engineered six copies of the […]

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Blue shark

While Fishpool recently discovered that some sharks are utterly Pathetic, one species for which such an adjective could not be less accurate, is the blue. The blue shark (Prionace glauca) is a fish of temperate and tropical waters, occurring in all but the coldest seas. It is a slender bodied shark, with large pectorals and […]

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Angling Heritage

Not content with the running of one of Britain’s premier angling bookshops River Reads, in 2009 Sandra Armishaw launched Angling Heritage – a not-for-profit charitable trust created to preserve angling literature, sound recordings, imagery and letters. With fishing writer and historian Fred Buller MBE as Patron, and Chris Yates, Des Taylor and Reg Talbot active […]

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Looe

Tucked away on the south-east coast of Cornwall, straddling the estuary of the river with which it shares a name, is the picturesque town of Looe. A derivation of the Cornish word Logh – meaning deep water inlet – Looe is renowned for the quality of its fish and the boisterousness of its New Year’s […]

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Charles Rangeley-Wilson

Formerly a teacher, Charles Rangeley-Wilson’s love of travel, fishing and writing inevitably converged with the publication in 2004 of Somewhere Else. He has since written extensively, and contributes to Gray’s Sporting Journal and is Angling Correspondent to The Field, though he is familiar to many as The Accidental Angler. Rangeley-Wilson is a keen conservationist, with […]

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Skimmers

Bream aren’t the most popular of freshwater fish. They are slimy, smelly and fight with the enthusiasm of Fishpool with a hangover. They pick up baits set cunningly for chub and barbel, and seem to take pleasure in keeping carpers awake all night. Yet Fishpool feels they deserve a bit more respect. In fact, so […]

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Grayling

The graying (Thymallus thymallus) is an often overlooked fish. The presence of an adipose fin places the species (taxonomically at least) with the Salmonidae, but the grayling has not been looked upon favourably in many rivers, such as the Itchen, where it swims beside the more desirable trout and salmon. Most coarse anglers, meanwhile, are […]

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Tarpon

Perhaps it is its similarity in appearance to a sprat or bleak, but the tarpon is a fish that really doesn’t look as if it should grow as big as it does. The closely related Atlantic and Indo-Pacific tarpon (Megalops atlanticus and Megalops cyprinoides respectively) are fish that require warm water in which to breed, […]

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HT Sheringham

Hugh Tempest Sheringham was, quite simply, one of the greatest angling writers to have ever put pen to paper. Born in Tewkesbury in 1879, on the confluence of the River Severn and Warwickshire Avon, most of Sheringham’s casts were actually made further to the south-east in the Kennet valley. Here he developed an attitude that […]

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Chris Sandford

Who could forget those wonderful moments in the Passion for Angling series? Quotes from the likes of Sheringham and Ted Hughes read so perfectly by the silky-voiced Chris Sandford. Sandford spent many years as an actor before realising that his voice was his meal ticket. Stage performances and a two year stint on Coronation Street […]

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Great white shark

No fish commands such fear and awe, or is perhaps so misunderstood as the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). This is a truly massive fish – specimens approaching 20 feet in length have been reliably reported, while many believe the great white can grow significantly larger. They are found throughout the world – though require […]

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Jaws

Based upon Peter Benchleys’s 1974 novel of the same name, Jaws celebrates its fortieth birthday this year. Winning three Academy Awards, the film was an enormous success, but despite being commercially and critically acclaimed, the depiction of the great white shark as a man-eating monster has not helped the species’ true identity. Director Steven Spielberg […]

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Walker Bay

For many years South Africa was regarded as one of the premier spots in the world for shark fishing, with anglers coming from across the globe, many hoping to hook a great white shark. As the great white became increasingly threatened throughout its range, many countries, South Africa included, banned the fishing for them. This […]

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Chub

Autumn is coming and with it our rivers are beginning to wake up. The weed is beginning to thin, and the water levels are rising. Soon, those stretches that have slept all summer will be sparkle with every shower and thicken with fish. The chub (Squalius cephalus) is surely the epitome of a river fish. […]

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