Thursday, 31 October 2013

October Storms

Some of us remember the great storm of 1987. This week we were promised a repeat. To be honest we have had stronger storms before and since but why that one is remembered is the damage it caused. The reason it caused so much damage is that it occurred while the trees were full of leaves. The normal winter winds are from December to March when the trees are bare. The Sunday before the ‘Great Storm of 2013’ I had a wander around the syndicate lake with a pike rod. Apart from a dropped run, I did not connect with a fish.  Still it was nice to be out. I bumped into young Kenny who was bivvied up. He was Pike fishing during the day and planning to Carp fish through the night. Apparently he got through the night unscathed and had a carp as well. The storms passed and I decided to have a go on the lake and went a few days later. I decided to go for a Pike and fished next to Pat who was Carp fishing to the reed line. His approach is to put the rig as close to the reed line as possible as we were seeing the reeds move alarmingly. Pat’s optimism was rewarded when he connected with a very nice common carp of 14 pounds and it looked lovely in its winter colours.
To prove it was no fluke he winkled out another one, this time a mirror carp slightly smaller. It has to be said that he has fished the lake for 16 years and retired so when not fishing he is often walking the lake looking for fish.

 But even as he walked round to pick up his lunch from his wife his right hand rod was away and I had no choice but to land a nice 10 pound ghost common. Pat did not mind and joked it was appropriate to catch a ghostie on Halloween. He went on to catch another one himself.

 I had one 3 pound jack pike to show for my efforts and all in all a very pleasant day it was to be fishing and actually catching fish. My winter fishing starts here and I am sure it will be full of twists and turns as usual. 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Where are the British Rock Bands?

Instead of writing about fishing, this week I decided to put down some of my thoughts regarding the state of British Rock Music.
When I think of the Breakthrough Rock Bands of the last 15 or so years that have become major players in the making and selling music I think of Foo Fighters, Black Keys, Shinedown, System of a Down, Green Day, The White Stripes and The Killers. The first thing to notice is that they are all American. Where are the British Rock Bands? Where are the modern day Kinks, Stones, Blur or Radiohead? A look at the Brit Award nominees for 2013 makes for sobering reading. The nominees included, Mumford and Sons, (good but not really a rock band), Muse (ok but more of a synth band and not what i would call rock), and One Direction (God Forbid). 
 Now I enjoy going to see bands play in local pubs across East London and Essex. I have seen some great Rock bands made up of fantastic musicians. They mostly play covers because, let’s be honest that is what the crowd want. Now and again you hear some original work. Steve Forward has a few self penned songs in his set made up usually of the Rock standards. This music he has lovingly created and is really breaking new ground. Other bands worth a mention are Anthem, Turbulence and Expose.

Will these Bands make it on the Album charts and sell out the O2 arena? Well probably not. Why not? Because of the pernicious influence of Simon Cowell et al. X factor never has a real Rock Bands on, and if you’re not on X factor you have little chance of making it. Ever since Stock Atkin and Waterman the idea of instant success without having to put in the hard yards has become so alluring to the businessman. The gullible general public lap it up along with other awful imports like Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus. The British public get told what to like and no recording company is going to take a risk a bunch of hairy musicians who have been working away for years. The time to get them to be big will take too long and time is money so it’s a no for now.

Some of you will disagree and say ‘oh there is this or that band’ ‘they have an album out and get played on BBC 6 music’ (a channel that was under threat not long ago due to a low listenership).  I would argue that although this is laudable they are still in the shadows and not evidence that Rock music is in a healthy place in the UK. I would love Steve Forward to become the UK’s Joe Bonamassa. Lets live in hope for now. I will continue to get my Rock fix from listening to US bands and old UK artists. I hope that one day the British music Industry will learn that music should be created and not just manufactured. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013


In years gone by as we enter into October my thoughts have turned towards the usual winter species. Pike, Perch and Chub are occupying my thoughts and swimming, capriciously, across my mind. However, after last winter’s experience, carp are still firmly in the ascendency. I learned that large carp will still feed even in cold conditions, especially when the weather is settled. The weed on my syndicate water is starting to look limp and less full of vigour than it did a few short months ago. Rain has lashed down and wind from a north east direction has tested the potency of my fence.   As yet we have not had any frosts so it seems that the obvious choice is to target the carp. Location as always will be important and I plan to spend time on a reconnoitre of likely looking spots. I will also keep my ear to the ground to make sure I hear any carp gossip about where and when the carp are being caught.

Cutting down of free food items may be a good idea and what does go in needs to increase in smell. I am tempted to go for pellets as the water is still not so cold and they will still put smell into the water. Fish-meal boilies or 12 mil halibut pellets are the way i want to start off but tutti-frutti boilies might come into their own. I know that last week coconut cream pop ups were doing the business and carp to over 20 pounds were coming out. It might be advisable to have a tub of these in my tackle bag.  I fancy a one rod stalking session perhaps early morning or late evening. I think this may be the way to go until its gets really cold. At that point perhaps the idea of fishing for Pike may take over.