Lee Swords Fishing

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April ‘cat’ Fishing Blog


This month has been good and bad…. ‘Bad’ in that I struggled to get the mojo up and ready to do some serious fishing sessions ( but that came good eventually) and ‘good’ in that I think it marked the end of the road for my ‘fishing talk’ career. I no longer feel that I have anything left to give when it comes to doing talks and the stress of getting a talk from home to wherever in the country I am doing it, is just too much  for my digestive tract to take, the articulated lorry on the Woodhead Pass coming home was the final straw, the man drove like a dickhead and will in all likelihoods end up killing somebody.My first Barbel Society National Conference talk

Why is it that when you are swapping a PowerPoint presentation from one computer to another, one computer always wants to play the dickhead and decide that it does not recognise the file?First Yorkshire talk

They both have Power Point…What is the big issue?

It isn’t like Sheffield City Council when they decided to recognise Somaliland, for foooks sake its a computer program that is on both computers!

Computers are bastards!

First East Midlands presentation


What I will say about the talk circuit is that it needs fresh blood all the time , it takes people to have to guts to stand-up and bare their souls and it takes some serious bottle to do it.

To everyone that has been to one of my talks over the last 8 or so years, thank you very much! It was much appreciated and none of you deserved to listen to some of the bollocks I came out with from time to time.


As everyone knows, I like a little bit of fluff chucking during the Close Season and Scout Dyke at Penistone ticks a lot of boxes for me,  it is an “old school” any method trout fishery where a bloke can spin bait or fly fish for a stock of fish that are in very good condition. Scout Dyke...windy as hellThe only problem was the reservoir itself on the day Dan and myself visited was anything but in ‘good condition’, the wind was wild, an easy 50-60 mph, the chance of getting a fly out with the wind in our faces was zero.So we walked around the back and allowed the wind to cast our lines for us, I have to say that this was the easiest full line casting that I have ever done.Dan Stewart Smith is in at Scout Dyke

Dan was first in with a black and green job, watching him play the fish with 50 mph threatening to push him in was rather amusing, I was a little slower out of the blocks and it wasn’t until I found a sheltered bay that I really found my rhythm

Coming to the net at Scout DykeI think I eventually had 6 fish, the best being a gnats bollock under 4lb. I had a couple of little blue trout in with my catch as well, they fight pretty well but look a bit wonky if you ask me.

Our shared "bag" from Scout Dyke

Down on the Flower Meadow

Everything is really starting to bounce now, the perennials are starting to push through and the  butterflies are getting a lot more active, I like this time of year it is so very exciting, everyday is something new to see.

Orange tip female feeding on some type of bittercress  This week the Speckled Wood and Orange Tip as well as Large White and Green Veined White appeared on the field for the first time, joining the Brimstones, Peacock, Comma and Small Tortoiseshells.

The best plant that has poked its head up through the grass is a Snakes Head Fritilary, I put a a fair few in and by the looks of it have lost the majority but a small success is a small success and not a failure and lessons have been learned for next year!

Snakes Head Fritilary



One of my good Facebook mates Nick Watkins sent me two fantastic packs of wild flower seeds and when these are added to the ones that arrived from Grow Wild, the future is looking very colourful for Bowden Houstead Fields! This year I really want to see some proper change in balance to the old feral grasses.



One thing I will say before I go back to the fishing is this, leave the dandelions alone a bit please as they are a vital early nectar source for our pollinators and butterflies and furthermore they add a welcome splash of colour after a dark dour winter.


If anyone else wants to Join Nick Watkins and donate some wild flower seeds that are suitable for a slightly acidic open grassland that once was mowed park but has been allowed to go feral feel free to contact me for postage details, cheers!



There are not that many fish in the UK left for me to catch, I have even had a salmon if the little Parr that I had on the River Test count for anything but Catfish or more specifically Wells Catfish.

I don’t know much about Wells Catfish so I needed to do some research, I have a couple of books on them but one by James Holgate and Geoff Parkinson proved most useful when it came to working out a rig that would work for me. Catfish rigs look odd, they look very odd in fact but I studied how a catfish hunts and what they are likely to be attracted to and came up with a plan.

When Dan and me got to The office Fishery we found that one area of the lake was extremely under-fished because it is weedy and full of what I call soft-snags but the best thing was…..The wind was blowing right into it!

I have a thing with April fishing, I like the wind in my face and I don’t like busy swims…and I like dead ends and I like structure…and Nobody is fishing there!!!!!!


I felt like all my crimbos had come at once!

My cat fish worm rig


On arrival at the peg I decided to go with worm over pellet, a lot of pellet and that is where the bait boat came in handy! HMS Oliva had been charged up and made ready the night previous and was in fine fettle for her fist run out in over a year. Now I know what people say about bait boats but the simple fact is this, you cannot beat them for distance, accuracy and bait depositing. The end.

My rigs were placed over 3kg of small high oil pellet and on dusk the action started! I have to say that for me there is no sound in fishing quite as good as a Delkim singing the song of her people

My first Wells CatfishI never get tired of the noises they make, especially when I am fishing for something new or unusual.

Anyway the fight was a good one and the fish came in at bang on 15lb, Looks like my Catfish rig worked then!

happy days!!!

As soon as the sun went down I started to get single blips and bleeps but I have to admit, it was already mission accomplished as far as I was concerned but I put the boat out again with a bit more bait in and was soon repaid in full with a my second WellsCatfish of 9lb 8oz again to a popped up worm rig. The night moved on and I had an aborted take that I just cannot work out how I missed it but but I suppose if Chub can do it Catfish can too!

PB Catfish number 2!


Unfortunately for the next cat that tried to out wit my rig it failed miserably as the Delkim Txi went bloody mental and woke me up at just before 2 am The fight was epic and very powerful, the fish found weed after weed after weed but the Kryston Coated Braid and the 15lb line couple with the size 2 ESP raptor hook held and when the fish jumped at 3o yards and belly flopped I had no idea what the hell I was playing with, a 30? a 40?…It was very long!!!

Dan came over and did the net duties and I am glad he did because i would have struggled on my own to get the fish and the weed in the net in A lot of weedone go. The fish went to 20lb and 2oz and became my second PB of the session!

The downside was whilst I was trying to get the mess sorted out the other rod went off like a rocket but again I fluffed it somehow, a theme I heard from other anglers on the lake in the morning, most had missed screaming runs, so I didn’t feel quite so bad.

Anyway that was my action done, I was knackered.

Thurgarton Lane, Hoveringham
Nottingham, United Kingdom
07903 338923
Well that is me done for now, I will update again in a little while!





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