Lee Swords Fishing

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Fishing on the Trent…Carpe Diem!

Carpe Diem… Seize the day!

Here is an article from earlier this season…Considering the weather I thought it very apt!


Well, the rain hasn’t quite let up yet, the Trent is within its banks but you get the feeling that it could all go mental again at a moment’s notice. I have done more summer flood fishing on the Trent this season than the previous five or six rolled into one. The good thing is that the swims have all been given a little bit of a scouring out, new features have been created and old ones that are attracting a little too much attention for their own good have been moved or removed.

 The Mark Tunley’ Flood Rod… Awesome

A new wave of water-craft begins here because fish will move with the features because as old hotspots cool  new ones warm up.

And it is this that makes river angling so interesting; lakes tend to keep their hotspots whereas rivers are more active and that is what I love about them, the learning curve never ends and for those that think it does…More fool you.

The one thing that I do dislike about rivers at this time of year however is the attraction they pose to people that really should not be let out unsupervised. I like commercial fisheries in that they cater for a type of angler that is a danger to all around, they keep the afflicted away from waterways that can actually kill on a whim. I was fishing a stretch of the tidal Trent a couple of weeks ago and the river was looking monstrous…truly terrifying.

The bailiff arrived to collect his fiver and began to tell me a story of a group of anglers that had arrived with the intention of fishing a few days, they geared up and set their bivvies only to decide that they would disappear for a couple of hours to the boozer in the village so that they could celebrate the opening of the season in style.

When they returned to the river their base camp was submerged under eleven foot of flood water…the river had done eleven foot in three hours!

You cannot play with that type of water because it will seriously spoil your day given half a chance, those lads lost everything. I suppose there is a lesson to learn for them but it isn’t for me to preach all I will say is that you never go to the pub and leave all your gear unprotected.

This is what can happen in less than twenty minutes on the Trent!

The threat posed by the river aside, it is just too much of an open invitation to thieves and crooks not to mention the local wildlife.

Talking of local wildlife, somebody left a wonderful “gift” for me wrapped in a tee-shirt in one of my good pegs…Seriously…What is that all about? Everyone gets “caught short” now and again but whatever the situation you never leave something like that for the next person in the swim to deal with, doing something that vile is just beyond the pale, it is the actions of a complete moron.

The problem for the lad that left me the gift wrapped turtles head  is that I have a pretty good idea who it was so the group of lads that he hangs around with are now under the microscope and will be getting quizzed over it when I see them on the river next, let’s just say that persons free run on end tackle has just ground to a cataclysmic stop, there will be no more bait, hooks, line or leads for that one ever again.

At the end of the day I am a lucky chap and get quite a few freebies so I don’t mind sponsoring a few local kids to the tune of a few bits and bobs I mean if I was to keep all the good stuff to myself how big a miser would I be?

Spread the love is my motto, spread the love…Not In a “Jimmy Savile” kind of way, just in the run of the mill “lets not be a tight bastard kind of way” but I won’t tolerate people that take a shit in one of my pegs and leave it wrapped in a t-shirt like little orphan Annie on the doorstep of the local convent…Nope that is simply not on!

Something else that has had my hackles rising of late is the “instant expert”, I had one lad tell me that he was glad I was packing up as I was fishing his swim, I asked him how old he was, to which he replied seventeen.

When I finally stopped laughing at him, I looked him straight in the eye and told him in a very matter of fact way that I had been fishing this swim ten years before he was even born and that he was simply leasing it from me just as I leased it from Eddy the man that initially cut the swim out more than fifty years ago.

The boy did not know what to say, which was good because I thought it better he said nothing at all for he would have just made himself sound like a complete cock.

And that is the whole point; kids cannot always relate to the history of our sport they cannot possibly understand the where things came from because their lives are so instant and in the moment. Everything has to be “now”.

I was once asked by a lad of no more than nineteen on Facebook if the section of Trent that I fished most often held barbel over seventeen pounds and if it did how long would it take him to catch one.

Start small…and work your way up

When I had finished crafting a suitable reply to the chap I was stunned to find that it contained only a very few words, of which even less can be reproduced here.

The general theme of it however was that he should get out more often and smell the blossom of the flowers rather than concentrating all his effort on the aroma generated by his own backside.

I wasn’t that surprised to find he had “un-friend-ed” me after that!

As Catherine Tate often says in her show…” Bovvered…Face…Bovvered?” Am I hell as like “bovvered” The kid was a bloody idiot and will be burned out by twenty.

But that is his problem not mine, I enjoy fishing for the enjoyment of it, which is not to say that I don’t enjoy a little competitive edge to my sport now and again and ever since I lifted the Anglingstars “Bax Cup” and became officially “awesome” at Aldefen it is like a switch has been flicked and the fish have all decided that they need to come and have a look at what all the fuss is about.

Four personal bests have fallen and I have only suffered one blank session…Not bad, not bad at all. I just hope that I can get out and about a little more and do one or two overnight sessions now the river has dropped a bit, I cannot believe that it is almost August and I haven’t done a single overnight job, unbelievable!

The last session I had on the Trent saw me shatter another long standing personal best as well but not in weight but in numbers, for years the most carp I have had from the Trent in one sitting has been six, however that was obliterated when I managed to get twelve out to a top weight of 13lb 10oz from a flood filled cow-drink peg last Sunday!

Twelve fat little water-pigs and all barring one of them were not in my opinion Trent fish, It is my belief that somebody some place has lost a lot of carp as their lakes have been flooded out.

Not a Trent carp in my opinion

The fish were ugly, battered to bits and averaged maybe 3lb, half of which were mirrors, now some anglers anecdotal evidence is not as black and white as my own but in 25 years of catching carp on the Trent I can say that the vast majority of carp that I have bagged have been doubles (or thereabouts) and have all been commons with a couple of full leathers and half a dozen mirrors.

Whatever the case I hope that these new arrivals grow fast and come from a good gene pool as I would hate for them to pollute what are in my opinion a truly stunning strain of the fish.

 A Proper Trent carp…Big and bronze with bigger flaps than Adele Stephens!

And as my last carp and my new personal best barbel are almost the same weight I will finish this article by throwing a grenade at a wasps nest.

River carp may well be verminous water-pigs but they fight harder than barbel. In fact there is no contest. Stamina, power, speed all in the favour of the water pig.

Tata for now, tight lines and fish safe!

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