Home Town: Aldershot, Hampshire
Date Started Fishing: 1970
Current Target Venues: Mill Farm Fishery – Silver Bream Enton – Crucian Carp Badshot Lea – Grass Carp and Catfish Sinah Warren – Tench River Thames - Carp
English PB: Barbel 16.10 Bream 16.1 Chub 7.1 Catfish 57 Carp 31-15 Crucian 4.3 Grass Carp 31-1 Eel 7.1.8 Pike 31.10 Perch 4.10 Roach 3.15.8 Rudd 3.5 Tench 10.3 Zander 12.13 Silver Bream 3.3 Dace 0.11
Foreign PB: 139 lb Catfish
Favourite Nashbait: Instant Action Ball Maker Method Pellet
Favourite Rig: Helicopter
I started fishing when l was just five and over the last 42 years my love for the sport has just grown and grown. In the early days I was a competitive match angler, then a pleasure angler and following the capture of the massive pike from Thorpe Park became a committed all-round specimen angler.
These days I am bordering on being a full time angler, although article writing, photography and guiding take up a very large part of each week. Short Session Specialist pretty much sums up my fishing life!
My proudest moments are every time I fish with my father, who’s now over 80, and watch as he slides the net under yet another fish. On a professional level it was a landmark seeing my first book, ‘Evolution of an Angler’ published, the result of over a year’s hard graft and covering more than four decades of angling. In terms of memorable captures, the two that stand out for me are the 31 lb 10 oz pike from Thorpe Park, the fish that transformed me into the specialist angler I am today, along with the 7 lb 1 oz 8 dram eel taken from Petersfield Heath.
What I’m looking forward to next year is getting my teeth into a couple of serious campaigns. The first is to seriously target big tench. I have a couple of venues up my sleeve that I’ve heard rumours of producing very big fish, ones that heavily fished and have an element of unknown surrounding them. The other is to get the boat back on the Thames and once again go in search of some massive carp through its middle reaches.
My favourite species are rudd, the first fish I ever caught and I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer evening than float fishing for this beautiful species. Eels come a close second and once you catch a few big ones they become addictive.
Float fishing runs through my veins and although trotting a stick for chub, dace and grayling is difficult to beat, waggler fishing comes out on top. Casting a waggler into a swim of bubbling tench or to rudd that intercept maggots sprayed from a catapult, then watching as the tip disappears and the rod takes on a healthy curve on the strike, does it for me every time.