Born again angler

Foul hooked

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As a young sprog back in the sixties i badgered my non fishing dad to take me fishing. Eventually he relented and my uncle, who worked at an engineering factory made me a rod out of a 6 foot length of thin tubular steel and a piece of cork for a handle. complete with a cheap centre pin reel and bobble float it was off to the river Soar in Abbey Park in Leicester town centre. Surprisingly after only a few minutes my little round float started bobbing away. After a couple of attempts at reeling in and nothing a local angler sitting nearby came for a chat and told me all about "striking". Five minutes later i had my first Gudgeon on the bank, swiftly followed by a few more.
As i cast envious eyes on the nice chap next door catching what to me seemed like enormous Roach it was obvious i needed a proper rod. As my Ninth birthday was rapidly approaching it was obvious what i was asking for. The ever obliging parents came up trumps and i was the proud owner of a 9ft split cane rod all presented in a wooden box with a selection of floats, lures and weights. Unfortunately, being in April it meant that i could not try it out for the next couple of months due to it being closed season.
June came and it on the bus back to Abbey park and more Gudgeon. A couple of years later and having started secondary school i became friends with another young lad who, like me, was as keen as mustard and, coming from the other end of town, introduced me to the then infamous "mile long straights" a canalised section of the Soar running past the football ground to the West Bridge. It was here that i really started to learn fishing. I will never forget the day that while we were fishing with only a couple of the usual Gudgeon to show for our efforts that a particularly scruffy looking fellow with orange fingers sat down beside us and started to give us a few tips on how to shot our floats and dop in a few maggots every now and then. Ten minutes later i had caught my first Roach, a whacking 8oz specimen. Turned out the scruffy fellow was none other than a certain Ivan Marks. Over time we got to know him as we were regulars at his tackle shop and he was often to be found giving out tips to the local youngsters on that stretch.
In time my kit and skills improved and i ventured further afield in pursuit of my hobby, and i learnt the mysteries of the swing tip and even flirted with a pole for a short while. I entered a few local matches with varying levels of success and tried my hand at carp fishing. I considered myself a reasonably competent angler.
All this came to and end in the early nineties with the arrival of my daughter. Ten years later the shoe was on the other foot as she had seen my now abandoned kit in the back of the garage and asked me to take her fishing. Well how could i refuse. So i dusted off the kit, researched some local fisheries where i thought it would not be too difficult for us to catch a few and off we went. This carried on for a couple of years, but the inevitable happened and other interests lured her away from fishing with her old dad and the kit went back into its corner of the garage as work took me away from home during the week and other commitments once again seemed to fill up my time at weekends.
Fast forward fifteen years to the present, and when my work dried up this summer it was time to take another look in that long forgotten corner and off i went to the local fishery that my daughter found for us all those years ago. Boy was i surprised at the changes. whilst there were always a few carp there, it was now bivvys and rod pods everywhere and i looked somewhat incongruous sat there with my 13ft match rod and waggler set up with the only bait being a pint of maggots and a tin of sweetcorn. Still i managed to catch a few roach and skimmers, and even managed a 3lb carp but the bug was well and truly back.
Over the last couple of months, i have learnt that so much has changed. method feeders, pellets and bands whats all that about? well i now know and have used them to good effect a couple of times. The one thing that has not changed, thankfully, is the willingness of other anglers to share their knowledge and i now know how to use some of these new fangled gadgets and baits. i may still be using my old Diawa black diamond reel, one of the original Shimano Aero baitrunners (with a method feeder and pellets on the business end now) and my float box looks like a museum collection (i even found my old Marks and Marlow glass fibre persuader feeder rod but sadly it is minus most of its rings and unlikely ever to be used again) but i am once again enjoying fishing and hence the reason i have joined this forum to try and get myself up to speed on some of the latest tackle and methods and hopefully find some new places to fish. Most of my old haunts sadly now seem to be devoid of fish and most local lakes are simply carp puddles but i did have a decent session with a few bream on the local canal so for me the adventure is starting anew again.
I suspect that there are many like myself who, either due to finding time on their hands due to lockdown, retirement or some such, have decided that now is the time to take up fishing again and are somewhat bewildered by the array of strange looking baits and tackle when they first venture back into the tackle shop or bankside. Fear not though, the old methods still work but i also enjoy the challenge of trying out the new and if you are prepared to give it a go you may well be pleasantly surprised.
I am now firmly in the camp of the born again angler. My only regret is all the years i missed out on.
 

Peter

'Mugger'
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Welcome to the forum, good to see another returnee. :upthumb:
 

Dave Spence

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Welcome mate, having served a good apprenticeship it will not be long before you are at the top of your game again.
 

Dave Spence

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You will probably find someone on here who will take the persuader off your hands, if you wish to sell it.
 

Foul hooked

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Nov 4, 2020
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Was actually thinking of re-ringing it just to give it a go again for old times sake. Not sure how it would perform compared to modern feeder rods but it sure was the dogs Bllxs in its day. Not sure if a screw thread tip ring, or that matter any tips are still available anywhere, but would love to give it a go. Would be my turn to make others on the bank look bemused for a changed when i got it out the rod bag.
 

The one and only Harvey

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As a young sprog back in the sixties i badgered my non fishing dad to take me fishing. Eventually he relented and my uncle, who . . .
You really know how to tell a story well. I was hooked after the first line. After reading ". . . a particularly scruffy looking fellow with orange fingers sat down beside us . . .", I thought "But, wait a minute, that must be, that must be Ivan Marks"? And it was! He was famously heavy on the fags, and happy to share his knowledge

Please write more, preferably long stories, in the weeks, months and years to come.
 

The Landlord

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Welcome mate. Great first post as others have said. And what a great teacher to start you off!!
 

Deejay8

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As a fellow returnee it's good to see you here. Things have changed a bit, but I'm sure the old ways still work, so enjoy your comeback.
 

derwentboy

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Hello mate welcome back..all of your post rings crystal clear and true for me as I'vehad a similar experience. Pellets? Bait bands? Shalla rigs? Jiggas? Slapping? Dobbing? Mugging? It's a learning curve isn't it...but the lads on here are brilliant in helping you get back up to speed. Enjoy!
 

OldTaff

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Welcome - although there is a whole lot of new stuff to learn it’s great to know that the techniques of old will still get you fish in the net whilst you pick up new tips and tricks.

Look forward to hearing of your further escapades.
 

Cobweb

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Welcome indeed and thank you for such an interesting read. There's plenty of knowledge and expertise on here which I've found folks only too happy to share with helpful tips and hints
 

Scribe

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Blimey foul hooked, that took me back, travelling on the bus to fish at Abbey Park with my mates. discussions always ensued as to who was going to walk across the bridge to fetch ice creams from the cafe. :) I always reckoned there were bigger fish in the boating lake, although you couldn't fish it.

Fished the straights as well as a lad, I can remember seeing massive (to me then) carp or bream, by the channel that lead to the rowing club, back in the day's when the power station stood on the site, that is now Leicester City's ground. Unfortunately for me, I never got to meet Ivan Marks down there, I could have done with some tips. :D Can remember seeing Roy Marlow in Marks & Marlow tackle shop a few times.

Have fond memories of fishing Aylestone weir and further up at Kings Lock in Aylestone. On the way near the railway bridge was an old shop run by an old dear that we thought, must have been a 100 years old, if she was a day. We stocked up with a bottle of Dandelion & Burdock and aa quarter of sweets, if we could afford it. :)

Simpler, care free days,not surprising with everything happening that they are sorely missed these days.

Welcome back to the fold and thank you for the memory jog. :upthumb:
 

rudd

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Welcome back to the greatest past time devised by man!

PS - nothings changed, fish are fish ?
 

Arry

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Welcome to the Madhouse mate....
 

Foul hooked

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Thanks for all your nice replies. Glad i jogged a few memories for some.
After my initiation into some of the newer techniques and stuff, i decided that it was time to rediscover some of my old haunts and try and remember some of the things i learnt back in the old days.
So, first off, once confirmed that fishing was still to be allowed during the new lockdown, it was down to the local canal for the afternoon. It was a pleasant change to set up a simple waggler rig with a size 20 hook instead of some sort of harpoon with an elastic band attached! What was not so pleasant was rekindling the memories of many a freezing cold autumn day sat forlornly looking at said float as it remained stoically motionless for the next couple of hours. To be fair, the canal water was cold, still and clear so not ideal. With no boats, or lock gate operations to stir things up so it remained and i recorded my first blank of my return to the fold.
Undeterred, i decided that next stop was the River Soar. Having moved to the other end of town some years ago, i decided to give the canalised section around Aylestone a go rather than making the trek across the county to my old haunts around Birtsall. As this was a section i had never fished before i was unsure what to expect or what fish were there but it seemed to be popular with anglers whenever i had taken a walk along the bank in previous times.
Time to find out if i could still master a stick float then. Choosing a likely looking swim, with a relatively straight glide and even flow i felt that thrill of trying out a new water for the first time again. In went a small free offering of maggots and hemp quickly followed by my tackle. Third run down and my float disappeared from view and my first ever River Soar Dace of around an ounce was in my hands. I knew from speaking to locals that the water held some big Chub but that was certainly a surprise. Ten minutes later and i was into, what from my previous experience of the Soar was a half decent fish, from the same line. A nice Roach of just under half a pound slipped into the net and was quickly followed by several more ranging form tiddlers to around the half pound mark, interspersed with a few small Perch and the odd Dace.
I ended up with around twenty fish, Nothing big but a good afternoons sport and i left for home happy and with my faith restored that i could still catch on "natural" venues.
I really enjoyed my session on the river and shall be returning for more. Maybe next time i might set my stall out to have a go for the reported monster Chub that are supposed to be lurking under the far bank.
 

ptaylor79

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Nov 30, 2010
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366
Im also just about to start up again after my second long absence, I think this time its around 7 yrs maybe since I last went out. I got back into things after being out since my late teens but then work, house, baby etc etc. Still have all my gear from the last time round but I have very little memory of what I have so this weekend I will be opening the mossella carryall, bait bag, rod holdall and ready rod bag that look pretty on my garage wall and seeing what I have! I do know I have an old Shimano Aspire that was already discontinued when I bought it and I have a MAP TKS margin pole as well but rods and reels will all be new to me when I open the bags this weekend! I remember buying a lot of Nick Gilbert pole floats as well so I'm good for rigs I think. But like foul hooked I was bought up on natural venues, fishing the Trent and Derwent around Derby and the Trent & Mersey canal on the Derby Railway, Earl of Harrington and Pride tickets. I never really got back into the rivers on my 2nd time around, more through just avoiding the long walks and potential for encountering gangs of kids and also the Derwent at Borrowash seemed to decline in the intervening years. I will definitely have to get back at the rivers this time, there is something nostalgically appealing to being back on a river bank for me. Anyhow, Im looking forward to looking through my tackle and planning what needs replacing and then hopefully having my first session next weekend.......at a local commie with a short walk ;)
 

ptaylor79

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Nov 30, 2010
Messages
366
I spoilt my own surprise a bit....I just read some of my old posts out of interest and apparently I have some Drennan ultralights and beast master pellet waggler rods. The ultralights were decent at the time if I remember, but replaced by the Acolytes?
 
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