APRIL / MAY 2017.

After a tough winter or carping spring has been absolutely brilliant.  Filming for the last couple of episodes of On The Bank went well at the end of March and I’ve got to say a massive thank you to everybody that has viewed the series and given such brilliant feedback so far. Fordy and I have had such a good time making it, and to be able to put our wonderful sport on national television in front of so many people has been an honour.

Thank you BT sport for having the faith, and also to the viewers for watching. Will be back very soon with plenty of events and competitions coverage in all disciplines, and Series III is already in the planning. We had our first production meeting recently and of course it was on the bank. Dont forget that on youre able to catch up with more from us every Monday evening so check your planner or why not have a look at the web site at

There have been many highlights for me, whether it’s been catching fish in extreme conditions, struggling then eventually managing to catch on a really tough day, breaking my PB in a number of species, or catching new fish I hadnt even dreamed off before. Of them all, the biggest highlight has to be the winning back of the On The Bank pound which I lost to Fordy in the first series last year. The scores are now level. The decider will be interesting.

The Islands Fishery, Mere.

Fishing wise, I have managed to spend quite a lot of time on the bank, mainly for carp, but also for tench. I don’t have a home water at the moment, so I am moving around some of my local day ticket waters. I kicked off at the Islands Fishery near Mere in Dorset and what a stunning place is ( An overnighter with my son produced a couple of fish including this cracking 20 lb plus mirror fishing PVA sticks tight to the islands. Wraysbury wafters were the hook baits of choice and they seem to be bang on for this fishery due to the water colour.


Speaking of Wraysbury I had a recce there for the forthcoming International Tri Nations ladies competition at the end of June. I managed a few carp off the South before they moved away from me on the wind. Rather than following I had to stay put so I could recce the swim.

I had an aborted take from tench and that got me thinking about what they do to the baited area. When fishing larger boilies we may not know how much food they are eating as we tend not to catch them. If we are fishing particles or pellets, they could have a dramatic effect on how much bait we need to use, and we may not know if we are not getting picked up by them. Tench are cagey little blighters and their smaller mouths dont suit our bigger hooks and baits. To find more I decided to scale down and fish specifically for them. Nothing too small mind, size 8 hooks 10 mil hook baits.

I broke my tench PB three times. I don’t usually class a fish as a personal best unless I was specifically fishing for it and my previous best was a 5.14 caught on the float. I’m sure that I have caught bigger on boilie but I never weighed them. The record was broken firstly with a 6.04 fish followed quickly by a 7.12. A little later I hit into a big one which I’ve landed and thought it may go eight plus. It was in fact 10.13 and is without doubt already one of my fish of the season.

Longbridge Lakes, Romsey

A quick overnighter to Longbridge Lake in Hampshire ( gave

me another brilliant session. This prolific day ticket water on the Broadlands Estate is great for some action but it has a good head of tench and bream around the 5lb mark making fishing with pellets difficult. Theres a big island which is the dominant feature, but believe me, the margins are well worth a look.

It had to be boilies, but this time it was DNA Switch with some broken bags in a PVA mesh stocking. The key is that they are dipped in DNA Switch liquid which is an absolute winner there as you can see. Its got capsicum in it which carp love and the other species tend to avoid as it’s a bit hot.

A sleepless night didn’t help the next days work, which was the final day of a course get my powerboat license. Fortunately I got it and Im now able to be let loose internationally with a boat and a big engine. Bring it on! Pick of the bunch was this cracking fish known as Five scale

Carp Team England

The highlight of the spring so far though must be the successful defence of The Clifford cup in our annual Anglo Welsh international. The water was White Springs near Swansea and it holds some absolutely stunning carp up to 40lbs in weight. In fact it’s a mega big fish water and one that I will definitely be returning to.

A blast of cold weather just before the event made life difficult, and it was almost as if there were three teams in event – England Wales and the lake. It was hard going but that’s the name of this game. The match was a tie on points but England won on count back thanks to a greater aggregate wait. The ladies are absolutely ferocious in battle and I’m proud to coach and lead them to yet another victory. Our next event is on home soil where we have a Tri- nations International at Wraysbury in June. More info on which brings check out and follow captain England please

Some Serious Stuff

The river season will soon be upon us although the lack of water in some of the rivers does concern me. They look glorious but there is an underlying trend with water levels in the moment and this could be a problem in the future. It is something The Angling Trust are taking very seriously indeed and government need to look closely at the issue of waste and demands upon our water as we move forwards. Some rivers have already dried up.

Work wise I continue to work as an Angling ambassador and promoter continues. There is a lot to do, and the promotion of competitions, events and introducing new people to the Sport is high on our agenda. There is a campaign called take a friend fishing and the next campaign starts with the start of the river season on June 16th… but why wait until then….we know how good it is. What not take a friend out next time you go.