Lee Swords Fishing

Just another WordPress site


The “As Mad as a March Hare” Fishing Blog

It is that time again when I post up another fishing blog, well I have finally managed to get some fishing done that hasn’t ended in the disaster  of a blank although I must admit I did lose a very big carp on the Trent a week or so previous that had me really contemplating selling up everything and buying a pair of pump-action Beretta’s and taking up clay pigeon shooting….The only things that stopped me doing so was the fact that the carp is still there to be caught  and a spokesperson from Sheffield City Council told me that I cannot employ the “locals” from certain parts of Sheffield to carry the clay’s whilst I blast off twenty or thirty shells at a time, they said it would be dangerous… I suppose I could take up archery…all I need is a bow a few arrows and a chap from Somalia to hold the target. Anyway cracking on…

The magic of the Medusa

When the water is cold I do like to use “Medusa” rigs and have done Medusa Rigfor many years. The difference between mine and some others is that I do not use clips to attach the maggots to the hair nor do I use a sewing needle and fine thread believing of both those methods to be “crap” when compared to the simplicity of using superglue. Superglue is awesome stuff and perfect for attaching a dozen or more ( or less) maggots to a hair without disemboweling them upon a needle or trying to stick them on the fishing equivalent of a safety pin which will in most likelihoods end its days snagged up in your landing net…nah…clips and pins are crap. The other thing that is essential to cold water Medusa fishing in my opinion is high-attract low feed ground-bait that will leak off flavours all day long but not “feed off” your chances of getting in among the fish. For this I have been using a Hook Bait Company ground bait mix boosted with some extra CSL, it honks to high heaven but there Good for summer but too much feed for cold waterreally isn’t much for the pharyngeal’s to work on. When I did mange to pull myself together and got over the episode of the lost carp I went back down on the river with a different plan and that plan was to snag up my 10th double figure barbel of the season and put that target to bed, I doubt very much I will get the 12 barbel needed to get to the “ton”

insurance policy

but the “ten tens” part only needed the one so it was all to play for. The weather was nice and settled and even though the breeze was as cold as an Eskimos chuff and the water felt even colder still, I was confident that the river temperature was on the riseChub on the Medusa ( I can’t be sure as I have smashed my thermometer with a boulder) there hadn’t been a frost overnight, in fact the ( out of the wind) temperature had been positively mild and was actually climbing even further now the sun had come up and the clouds had been moved off with the stiffening breeze, a breeze so strong that had me place storm-poles just below my rods just in case of accidents, it looks untidy but its better than losing the lot to a down river gust that coincides with a violent take. Anyway…moving away from belt and braces lost rod doom prevention method and back to the actual fishing… My confidence was further boosted when a “scamp chub” of 3lb 10oz attached itself to my rig and did a very very effective impression of a small barbel, I have to say it One of the very best sights in angling...if you see this you know success has been achievedwas a most spirited fight and worthy of praise! Re-rigged and reinvigorated I lobbed the Medusa back out into the nearside down river channel and did not have long to wait before the rod went again! "Boing"Boonm! This one was absolutely no chub doing a mimic job, the rod wrapped around and I threw myself at it before it could test the storm pole rod loss prevention tactics I was employing. The fight was slow and ponderous but filled with raw power and even though the temperature of the water was taking away that summer sparkle that comes with a metabolism in overdrive the increase in soluble oxygen ensured the fish had buckets of stamina. Time and time again the fish found soft snags of dead and dying weed, I was surprised that they hadn’t been scoured away with the recent winter floods but the Trent hasn’t been anywhere near as bad this winter as it was last year, even though it has had a lot of extra water to deal This is when you have problemswith. Eventually the fish tired and I wasn’t surprised when I saw the dorsal fin of a good sized barbel cut through the surface of the water…would this be my double? It rolledOn the money! into the net and answered the question without me even needing to consult the Reubens, the only detail I would need to fathom was the exact amount over 10lb’s this fish was going to go…I thought it would go 11lb 8oz…The scales went to 11lb 11oz11lb 11oz and my tenth double of the season And I said “Thank you very much!” I fished on for another hour or so but in all honesty I was done and ready for the off and was content to go home when Tina arrived with the car. As my twist on the old fishing saying goes ” I was glad when I had had enough of this” and I had had enough.

On to the Wye

Wye? Because I like it!!Russian T34...its love xxx And because it is that time of year again when the Chub Study Group get together for the annual AGM at Bredwardine in Herefordshire, a beautiful county of England that still looks like England, still smells like England and still sounds like England…even though it is very close to Wales and has shops that sell T34 tanks. I would love a T43! Anyway, the CSG mob descended onto the river Wye en-mass with the intention of catching chub…. And considering the prevailing weather and water condition the previous three months I really don’t see how it could have been any better, the river was 1.77 mt up and rose to 1.88mt during the day but dropped again to below 1.77mt by the time I returned on Saturday Morning for round two, as you can see the Wye is up and down like a whores knickers, but what a whore. She is not to play with...danger lurksThe River Wye is a stunning venue, I love the Trent but the Wye is simply beautiful, beautiful and dangerous. When the river floods it floods with vengeance and has the power to tear  and twist everything in her path as easily as a person would crush a paper cup.receding water I however had the intention of catching pike on the first day asThe only way is Essox! I had found a peg last year that just screamed out to me, a peg so good it demanded to be fished. Rigs were simple affairs that would serve the purpose of holding my dead-baits in position without offering up too much that could be snagged on the flotsam and jetsam of the recent floods. My baits were very high quality sardines, a noddy’s bait you may say but the last time I found a source of sardines this good one was taken by my personal best Zander, proving that zander will take sea deads just so long as they are of a high quality. The daymartin waiting for fish number two ticked along at a steady pace with my fishing mate Martin, who was fishing a hundred or so yards upriver getting straight into the chub action with one of 3lb 8oz. I on the other-hand thought that I would persevere with the pike project as it was unfeasible that the swim I was in was lacking in Essox…all I had to do was watch the Treecreepers...everywhere!wildlife and wait for the drop off to drop and the Delkim to singjust drop off already!…The plan was that simple. but like all great plans there was an amount of waiting to be done and a few false starts. Occasionally the Delkim would go “blip” in the breeze and have my focus for a moment or two until I slipped back into the wildlife zone content that there was nothing toothy and untoward occurring to my dead-baits that were spending the day laying motionless on the bottom of the River Wye some ten feet below the surface only to be startled again with another little “blip” some minutes later. Blip…Blip…Blip…Went my day. Until…It went blip,blipbleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeppppppp! The clarity of realisation kicked in instantly…My beautiful sardine was being ruined! The swim was tight and the snags unforgiving, the river was deep in the margins and the bank side was slick underfoot with silty mud, this was no time to be arsing around and no quarter would be given. Bending into the fish I set the hooks int what felt like a boulder, thump, thump, thump it went. I could not give too much line, to do so would invite disaster, the river was still high and many trees and branches were My first pike from the River Wye...365 days in the waitingsubmerged and waiting to shit on my hopes of success. This fish had been 365 days in the waiting, this day had been one I had waited for patiently I would not fail myself now. 18lb 10z from the Trent...A much longer but slimmer  fishWhen it came up in the water, I could see it was a very broad fish but a short fish, would it go 20? My gut said no, it was far too short but its girth had me wondering. The Reubens however said “no”, in my gut I knew they would, the Reubens said ” 17lb 10oz” and I was a happy man with that, I did not mourn those missing pounds and ounces, I was far too happy with my plan coming together on the banks of a river so stunning that to feel deflated would be an insult to the river herself. I consider all rivers to be living entities, with souls and a consciousness as acute as anything we humans have and as such I treat them with respect and in turn I believe they return the favour, when it pleases them to do so. I think the River Wye was content with me and as such chose to offer me a little more… Not five minutes later did the bobbin slip away again leaving the line to coil away into the murky depths… This time I bent into a fish that was far more spirited and refused to be contained however much pressure I piled onto it, running wildly from side to side it searched for a snag until it finally found one and everything went solid on me…ah bollocks….I plunged the rod down as far as I could and for a moment everything looked like it would turn out nice but alas a few seconds later the mainline severed and the fish was gone…I felt sick…i had glimpsed the fish and it looked a fair bit bigger than the one I had just taken. Bugger! Oh,well. As my brother once said to me when we were still fishing matches and we had gone down to Drayton ” If you get smashed don’t mope on about it re-rig and get back out fishing as fast as possible…Only losers do that” It’s good advice and something I always try to keep in mind, I also remember I won the match where he said that, after losing my first 8 fish to hook-pulls. Five minutes later and there is another bait out, this time the difference is that I am well away from any snags, if a fish does me once IMG_3988on snags that should be lesson enough, I don’t need the lesson repeating. Moving the rod a little way down river I could still fish to the structure but I had more space also I decided to do away with the drop off and just watch the rod top Trent style, its amazing how many pike I have had by simply watching for the little knocks, quite often I have hit fish before the indicator has sounded…This however is ONLY a good method if ALL your attention is on ONE rod. My attention was on the job in hand and apart from the occasional Treecreeper interruption I was like a hawk…A fat hawk but a hawk none the less! Knockety-knock went the rod tip….One…Two…Three…Drop the rod tip wind down and a sweeping strike…

15lb 8oz of Wye pike perfectionFish On!

Once again the Wye pike gave a good show of themselves and the Reubens eventually said “15lb 8oz”

The sun was below the horizon by know and even though I could have done a couple of hours into the dark it was time to go, this is after-all a social occasion, Butty Bachtherefore it would be rude not to be social and so a close was drawn to proceedings and several pints of Butty Bach were slaughtered at the alter of the Fishing Gods.

12 hours later…

And I was back on the river…but this time I would be trying to catch a chub…I would also try a sneak a barbel but I didn’t hold out much hope because the night previous had been extremely clear and a deep and extensive frost had occurred.

Not ideal but not the end of the world either.

I would fish two rods, one being a “Medusa” sleeper that would be left to care for itself whilst I placed all my attention on the other rod on which I would be fishing steak and mince.

Question:Do river Wye chub like steak and mince?

Sea Trout or Brownie?Answer: I don’t know but I think Brown Trout are rather partial to it.Trout off the Wye

Most of the morning was spent trying to turn tiny little rattles into hit-able bites it was difficult but I managed two fish, both trout.

One on Medusa Medusa does the trickand one on steak, I am still out on whether Wye chub will take to steak, I am sure they will I just don’t think they have taken to me yet.

The Wye doesn’t suffer fools gladly and what may work on one river may need to be tweaked on another, I am sure at some point I will master her, but this wasn’t to be the day.

Once again I retired back to the pub without a chub to my name…Oh well.

The next day was different, it was the day of the CSG AGM and whilst nothing that was said in the AGM will make it onto these pages, once business was concluded it came to the part of the day when the CSG gives out its trophies.

Steve Plumb won the Presidents Shied for “most 4′s”, with 104 fish over 4lb, a stunning achievement considering the river conditions for the latter part of the year, Christian Barker had run him close but the trophy was to be Mr.Plumb’s for the coming year.

As Steve took his seat I marveled at the names upon the plaques, I like a nice trophy, it’s the competitive instinct in me, as they say you can take the monkey out of the jungle but you cannot take the jungle out of the monkey and this monkey still has a fair bit of Rain Forrest in him yet.

I looked to Martin and said ” I will win that one day”

At which point I heard the CSG records officer mention my name, my name? Me? Fat bastard, hairy, going bald, walks with a limp if its cold?


Trent chub of 6lb 9 oz“And for the capture of 10 fish over 4lb in a single session, with the best going to a very impressive 6lb 9oz…Lee Swords”Winner!

I have actually managed to win something!!

I was humbled by the honour of picking up the Coarse Angling Today  ” Best Catch Award” presented by Fred Sykes the President of the CSG.

At some point in the future, chub anglers will look at this trophy and admire names such as Ian Nairn and John Searle, Mike Staines and Kevin Smith and then they will see my name ” Lee Swords” and it will give them hope for the future, I am like the ugly one in the boy band, I am One Directions “Niall”, the one that is there to give the uglier girls of the world hope that they may one day end up with a boy band member in the sack even if it won’t be Harry Styles or Robbie Williams.

And Finally

Well, I went on Radio Sheffield this week and was given my few minutes of airtime to voice my opinion..I don’t know if it will make a difference or not but at the end of the day when this proposal goes through to planning next Tuesday (11th march) win or lose I will be able to look myself in the face and say ” Swordsy, you are a fat, ugly, bald tool of a bloke but you stood up and opened your mouth when it would be easier to keep it shut and say nothing, you gave it your best shot”
This will be the last time I put this petition up, I would hope that it gets a few more signatures by next Tuesday.

For those that have taken the time to sign this petition I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, this isn’t a NIMBY project on my part this is a project to save something that is precious, not just for my generation but following generations.

Our flora and fauna is is decline and as Albert Einstein once stated

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

Albert was far more intelligent than myself and most others that have ever lived, therefore I will take his advice and try my best to save the bee’s, birds, butterflies of this world because as he says in one of his other quotes

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”



3 Responses to “The “As Mad as a March Hare” Fishing Blog”

  1. Well done on the trophy Lee! Bet it looks great alongside the ‘Angling greatness’ award!!

    Best fishes mate….

  2. Well done Lee….just be careful which trophies you return at the next PaSC event ;-)

  3. Its well deserved mate and it was great to see you being presented with the trophy. The cheesy smile said it all :)

Leave a Reply