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Saturday, 29 May 2010


As some of you may have heard I have been a bit under the weather, slowly getting back to normal and a big thanks to those who have sent their regards and best wishes

I reckon I took a decent gamble today purchased a new TV, needed one and with the world cup about to start thought its about time we had one.

Best deal ended up with a Toshiba which has a great picture and sound and fits just where I wanted it, but the best bit is if England win the world cup I get my money back, ok that might be a bit of a long shot, but I reckon its a no lose situation if england win I get my money back and a new TV if england lose I still end up with a cracking TV at a very good price.

Somehow thou a penalty shootout for the final might take on an even bigger significance than normal.


 Ade wants his money back

Friday, 21 May 2010

5 Minutes in Holland

Enjoy this short video of my trip to Holland

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Countryside Awareness

I spent yesterday at the BASC countryside awareness day at Thurlton in Norfolk, organised by The British Association for Shooting and Conservation the aim is to give 150 or so local school children an awareness of the countryside around them and what they can see and do if they wanted.

The children were given a good insight into things like shooting, fishing, hunting as well as displays by the Broads Authority and local artists.

The weather was very kind to us and we had a good day as did the majority of the children

Many thanks to Angling Direct for supplying the Bait 

Also thanks to Korum for supplying the tackle display

And A BIG THANKS from me to Ginger for his help on the day

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Leaving the land of Windmills

Now on our way back to England aboard the Stena Hollandica after our fantastic trip to Holland with The Vogels.

A few things we had to do along the way

 First we Teach the Dutch a little lesson in football.

Frans then won the game of Boule but only after a dubious measure

We passed a few windmills on the way

Both old and new

We also caught plenty of barbel thanks to Frans

A big thanks to the Frans, Tjitske and Linda for a great time, and also thanks to Mike, Tim and to Cees

Thank you all

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Small River Barbel in Germany

Had a great day in Germany yesterday after an invite from a Dutch barbel angler Cees Van Dongen who now lives in Germany.

We crossed the Dutch German border and drove the 60 odd miles to the River, the river is very much like our own River Severn here in England, with steep banks and areas of fast running water with plenty of
gravel that the barbel love.

The river is only lightly fished and sees very little bait so a more natural approach to the river was in order, we choose to fish over a bed of hemp and sweetcorn with corn and maggot for hookbait.

Tom was first into a fish and the smile on his face spoke for just how pleased he was with his first German Barbel.

Standing in the river in chest waders is fine normally but with the weather still very cold the river was also best described as bloody cold.

The fish were however feeding and not long after Tom returned his fish I managed to hook my first of the day and a very good fish it was too just a couple of ounces short of a double and a very big fish for the river, taken on a good old fashioned maggot hook-bait.

In between stops to warm up with plenty of coffee and snacks supplied by Tjitske Vogels we caught a total of 5 barbel betwen us with Tom having 3 to my 2.

Many Thanks to Cees Van Dongen for allowing us to fish this gem of a river and for his kindness and advice during the day.

Double Dutch and Cheese

The last day in Holland before we move on to Germany started with a look round Nijmegen and a chance to look around the famous market and buy some local produce plenty of cheese and some rather tasty pastries.

In the afternoon we went to the River Waal to the same Kribs we had been baiting all week, with plenty of groundbait and pellets left over from the trip I gave the peg a good helping too hopefully get some instant action, I had barely got settled when the tip nodded and then lunged over a lively barbel of over 6lb came to the net after a decent scrap. An enjoyable afternoons sport followed with another 6 decent barbel coming to the net.

Not for the feint hearted an 8oz feeder was needed to hold the rig in the current where the fish were feeding, but the bites were all the same typical barbel rod off the rest bites and the dogged resistance of the barbel testing tackle to the limit.

Ship traffic was heavy on the river and a pattern developed where almost every time one of the very big ships passed by I would get a bite either from a barbel or and ide, when these bigger ships pass by the whole flow pattern of the river changes water that was flowing right to left suddenly flows left to right and huge vortexes form before it all settles down and returns to normal.

Just after a huge 6 barge coal ship passed by the rod knocked and the baitrunner screamed as a barbel was hooked at a range of 70 metres down the swim, immediately on striking I knew I was into a better fish as the clutch gave line against a powerful run, gradually I gained some line on the fish and slid the net under a nice double a good few minutes later.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Making a Right Asp of Myself

Now on day 6 of the trip and the unseasonably cold weather continues to effect the fishing in Holland, today its only around 9 degrees with a cold north westerly wind and rain showers off and on all day, with the Kribs on Waal like a skating ring and the wind blowing down the river making it feel like its the middle of winter, nothing like what we would expect for May thats for sure.

The River Ijssel near to Zutphen is the venue today, with the temperature so low and the water temperature dropping barbel are going to hard to come by today so we have chosen a venue with a chance of a barbel but also a good chance of catching some back up fish.

Many of the rivers and fish for that matter never get to see a pellet, with, maize, cheese and maggot the main baits and only a few anglers using pellet and boilies on the rivers. With that I mind I leave the pellets in the car buy a couple of litres of maggots, its white only in Holland as coloured maggots are banned, like normal I give the maggots a good helping of curry powder to spice things up a bit.

First cast ends in a bad result as the feeder tangles in the rocks that line the river and is wedged firm and lost, after retying my rig the second cast hardly hits the river when the rod is almost ripped from my hands by a savage bite, the fish makes off downstream and I feel sure I have hooked a barbel only for the fish to come to the surface and end up tight to the bank 15 or so metres below me, this is definitely not a barbel and a Dutch friend sitting behind me watching the action unfolds suspects I have hooked a roofblei more commonly known as an asp, often called the toothless predator the asp is more common to eastern Europe but is slowly spreading through the Dutch river system. I have caught much smaller asp in Holland but this one when I finally landed it after some airborne acrobatics weighed in at 4.06. The asp preys on small fish and crustaceans and in shape and features is not unlike a mini freshwater tarpon, in eastern Europe they are caught up to 120cm in length this one then was a mere baby at around 60cm but nonetheless an exciting fish to catch.

After a greats days sport I finish with 7 asp a couple of decent bream and some nice hybrids, but its been a costly day with half a dozen feeders lost to the rocks, all the same I have had a great days sport with the asp providing some great scraps, I had a feeling the barbel wouldn’t show and I wasn’t wrong, the weather this week has been against us but the forecast is a bit better for the weekend.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Talking Double Dutch

Fishing the River Waal again today but have to be off the bank by 1600 as I have been invited by the Fishing club at Gendt to give a slide show and talk about barbel fishing in England and how I approach the barbel fishing in Holland, barbel fishing is fairly new in Holland and the there is so much potential for some fantastic sport in the future.

The Waal produced the goods this morning in the shape of a cracking barbel of 9.14, the river flow was such that we needed an 8oz feeder to hold bottom in the swim, but typical of barbel fishing the bite was un-miss able and a good fight from the fish in the heavy flow.

The slide show and talk went well this evening with a good turn out of match and specialist anglers enjoyed a good talk with our Dutch friend and host Frans Vogels and his wife Tjitske acting as interrupters for the presentation.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

What the difference a day makes

Holland day 3

After yesterdays cold damp wash out and hardly a barbel to show for our efforts so far our confidence was renewed early this morning as we awoke to a much brighter warmer day, still a chill to the wind but bright sunshine and hardly a cloud in the sky.

When we packed in on Monday evening all the bait we had left we piled into the swim around 5 kilos of groundbait and another 3 of mixed pellet and a couple of gallons of hemp, that might sound like a lot but on a big river like the Waal its a drop in the ocean.

After a lazy morning spent sightseeing and drying gear in the warm sunshine we finally got to the river at around 1500, sharing a peg with Tom Sayer who is enjoying his first trip to Holland we soon got settled in and fishing. Not unlike fishing at home on the Trent or Severn we were using mesh feeders to get a bed of feed into the river, the feed being mashed pellet and plenty of hemp and 6 and 8mm pellets to bulk it out. The biggest difference being the feeders carry around 6 to 8oz rather than the 2 to 4oz we might use at home.

It took around two minutes after we started to hook the first fish a hard fighting barbel of over 5lb which took line against a tight set clutch, I had only just returned the fish when I looked up to see Tom playing his first Waal barbel, the smile on his face said it all.

Myself and Tom then proceeded to match each other fish for fish for the next four hours or so with Tom ending up with 9 barbel with a best just over 9lb I finished with 8 but a couple of lost fish to hook pulls cost me a narrow victory. Tom having a cracking afternoon with 10 casts resulting in 9 barbel a far cry from the cold barbel-less afternoon we had spent in the same swim 24 hours earlier.

Again we filled the swim in with all the spare bait we had left over hoping we could keep the fish in the area and maybe tomorrow find some of the bigger fish the river holds.

rain rain and just a bit more rain

Holland Day 2

The weather forecast was not looking good with cold Northerly winds dominating the weather charts and heavy rain again due to dampen spirits and tackle.

We spent the morning in Rotterdam at the European distribution headquarters of Preston Innovations where we had a look at the vast range of Tackle and bait sold by Preston and its sisters companies Korum and Sonubaits. Thanks to Arjan and Ronnie for showing us round and demonstrating the tackle also not forgetting the lashings of coffee.

The drive back to Nijmegen was in torrential rain and the car thermometer was reading 7C more like a winters day than an early summer afternoon. We arrived at the River Waal to a strong downstream wind and driving rain, not what we needed when looking for barbel. We fished for around 5 hours before calling it a night, the sum total being a small bream and a hybrid but no barbel.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

We got up this morning full of enthusiasm for a good day ahead unfortunately the weather had other ideas with a cold northerly wind blowing and lashing it down with rain, like all the rest of Europe Holland has just come out of a very cold winter and the weather is 3 or 4 weeks behind the norm, none the less us brits are made of stern stuff and we made our way just a few miles from our base near Nijmegen to the river Ijssel.

Meeting up with our Dutch hosts Tim, Willem and Mike they renewed our confidence a little informing us that the barbel are just coming out of their winter slumber and have started to feed over the last few days, fishing English style with open end feeder stuffed with softened pellet and fishmeal groundbait with a Sonubait halibut pellet on the hook we had to wait a couple of hours before the fish fed, but in the end they came on the feed and after a couple of bream and Ide Tom Sayer managed the first barbel of the trip and his first Dutch barbel only a scamp at around 5lb but most welcome.

We packed in around 1700 a little damp from the non stop rain but Tom had done the business with 3 barbel and Ade finished with one barbel and a cracking Ide of around 5lb as well as 3 nice bream, our Dutch hosts had not faired so well and had not managed to get the barbel to play ball today.

Tomorrow we are off to the River Waal, a much bigger river where we are going to need 6oz feeders to hold bottom but we hope to find the barbel hungry and with the weather forecast better for tomorrow fingers are crossed for more barbel action.

We are hoping for a better day tomorrow and if Frans lets us have a little piece of his cheese maybe we will put a picture of him on this blog.

Over to you Dutchy

Saturday, 1 May 2010

All Aboard

Blogging this from the middle of the North Sea as we are all aboard for our trip to Europe for a spot of barbel fishing along on the trip is Tom Sayer and my good lady Sonia, who is fast asleep in our cabin after only finishing a night shift at 5am.

Frans tells us the barbel are on the feed so its fingers crossed we can catch a few.