How it all began for me. Tell me yours.

Stewie74

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My very first memory of fishing was a the age of 7 or 8, being left on the banks of the river Lea in London with my cousin (14 or so), and left there watching him fishing for hours. I don't remember him catching anything, and I remember being really cold, and really bored. This would happen during school holidays, he would set me up with a rod, but once I invariably got it tangled up within about half an hour that was me for the day. He also used to tell me after I'd eaten my lunch that he'd put maggots in it, to this day I don't now if he was joking or not.

Fast forward around 30 years, and a mate of mine was given a load of fishing gear, he also fished as a kid ( a lot more than i had). I fancied giving it another go, so kitted myself out with a very basic feeder rod, reel, chair and very little else. We went every weekend for a summer, I discovered method feeder and a local lake which gave a decent amount of action. Didn't really know what I was doing or why, but managed to catch a few fish.

Golf had always been my main leisure pastime, but due to a niggling back injury that has so far required two procedures, my progress has stuttered, and I was spending days recovering from a game. I'm still able to play, but not to the standard that I was previously, and I'm unable to practice as much as I need to to keep improving. So last year, during lockdown, I decided to get the fishing gear out of the shed and see what I could remember. I discovered this fantastic forum, and set about planning my first trip.

In the almost 6 months since, I've bought a ridiculous amount of stuff, spent countless hours watching youtube videos and browsing the MD forums. I've started to learn the basics from scratch, fishing the pole and feeder (mainly method, but also pellet and maggot feeders), with waggler and shallow fishing on the agenda for the summer months. I learned how to tie my own pole rigs and hooklengths, and got well and truly obsessed with catching fish.

As well as pleasure fishing I've started to fill the competitive void left by golf with match fishing, having joined a club and entered the Winter League, which with 6 of 8 rounds still to complete due to lockdown cancellations will effectively be a summer league by the time its finished. I've also joined a nomad match fishing society, so will be fishing regular (weekly ) matches on a variety of venues around the area.

I'm a long long way from being what I would class as a competent angler, but I'm far more effective than I was 6 months ago, and every time I go fishing I learn something. It's a wonderful pastime, and one that with hindsight I wish I'd taken an interest in earlier.
 

Stewie74

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I'm with you, Stewie. Since discovering this forum, I've spent shedloads on tackle.
You lot have got a lot to answer for! :mad:
I've stopped keeping track of it mate, but the list of things I need just keeps getting longer...... I've had to restrict myself to a certain amount per month.

New landing net handle on its way this week...
 

Zerkalo

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Like a few people in their tales, I had a long break from fishing for about 15 years where I would only go out a couple of times each summer, and not at all when I lived in Sheffield, my reason... was a bedroom disc jockey and producer and found some 'finer' things like going out chasing girls and getting wasted. It took moving house to a new area and looking for things to do to get me hooked again.
 

Peter

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Thinking back to the dim and distant past, water has always held a fascination for me for as long as I can remember, it probably started with the proverbial net and a jam jar on the local Tooting Bec common ponds, tadpoles, newts, frogs & sticklebacks were the quarry back then in the late 50's. Even then though I was captivated watching the older lads who had rods and reels who would catch the odd gudgeon, perch and roach.

October 1960 was a landmark, my 6th birthday when my Gran got me an 8ft bamboo rod with a tin plate centrepin reel as a birthday present.

I can still remember that first trip with it accompanied by my Mum to the old rowing lake on Tooting Bec Common, bait was a few worms freshly dug from the garden. One of the older lads there helped us set things up, a red tipped porcupine quill, a couple of split shot and a 14 Au Lion d'or hook.

A couple of hours followed intently watching an unmoving float with Mum suggesting it was time to get home when it plunged below the surface, grabbing the rod I could feel something on the other end and a small perch was soon hauled in and the lad who had helped us set up showed me how to unhook it.

It was no more than a couple of ounces but to me that small Perch was perfect in every detail. The colour of its stripes and red of its fins and the sense of wonder that I felt as I watched it swim off back into the depths of the lake are as fresh now as I type this as they were all those years ago.

Nowadays some 60 years on I still get the same buzz prior to a days fishing, It's been the source of a multitude of memories and friendships over the years and long may it continue. :upthumb:
 

Total

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Thinking back to the dim and distant past, water has always had a fascination for me for as long as I can remember, it probably started with the proverbial net and a jam jar on the local Tooting Bec common ponds, tadpoles, newts, frogs & sticklebacks where the quarry back then in the late 50's. Even then though I was captivated watching the older lads who had rods and reels who would catch the odd gudgeon, perch and roach.

October 1960 was a landmark, my 6th birthday when my Gran got me an 8ft bamboo rod with a tin plate centrepin reel as a birthday present.

I can still remember that first trip with it accompanied by my Mum to the old rowing lake on Tooting Bec Common, bait was a few worms freshly dug from the garden. One of the older lads there helped us set things up, a red tipped porcupine quill, a couple of split shot and a 14 Au Lion d'or hook.

A couple of hours followed intently watching an unmoving float with Mum suggesting it was time to get home when it plunged below the surface, grabbing the rod I could feel something on the other end and a small perch was soon hauled in and the lad who had helped us set up showed me how to unhook it.

It was no more than a couple of ounces but to me that small Perch was perfect in every detail. The colour of its stripes and red of its fins and the sense of wonder that I felt as I watched it swim off back into the depths of the lake are as fresh now as I type this as they were all those years ago.

Nowadays some 60 years on I still get the same buzz prior to a days fishing, It's been the source of a multitude of memories and friendships over the years and long may it continue. :upthumb:
What a great story our Peter....:)...That late perch on your first fishing trip was to set your trade mark for life!;):love:(y)
 

CarpCatcher86

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My fishing journey started with my dad, I think I was three or four at the time.
I wasn't feeling well so came home from school early. He told me to go upstairs and change, then we were going fishing, sitting at home for the day won't do you any good. The rest as they say is history.
In a way I feel sorry for the young lads starting out fishing now, or in recent years. Many of them have no one to teach them correctly, even if they did they probably wouldn't listen anyway.
I have seen and fished with lads who have been fishing for years and still don't know how to handle and unhook fish correctly. Even when you try to show/tell them how they aren't interested, all they want to do is be seen catching big fish and sod the rest. The actual asthetics of the sport sail right over their heads. Thankfully none of them have ever tried fishing for pike.
 

Barbelcatcher

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Well, I was introduced into fishing the minute I was born, I suppose. My father was a basket weaver for Harry Summers at Sutton on Trent, and his speciality was, of course, fishing baskets. Sutton and Newark, were renowned for basketry work from the early 1900's. He had learnt his craft in Poland as a young child. He was taken for conscripted labour, when the Germans invaded, as being the oldest eligible boy in his family. When he was liberated, he joined the Polish Free Army, and decided to settle in the UK rather than go back to Russian held Poland. I washed and varnished 100's if not 1000's of his baskets, and can regonise them on eBay. They were very soundly built.

willow basket(1).jpg

It wasn't until we had moved to Grassthorpe, (1953) that I first fished the beck, with a wooden cane and bent pin at the tender age of about 7/8 (1958). The beck was wider and deeper then, it only being a mere trickle now. Sundays, once per month, was a favourite day, as Mrs Savage from Nottingham, whose fishing shop was located on Ilkeston Road (No. 192 or 196) came to tea and loaded her morris traveller van with baskets. It was her who gave me my first proper fishing rod with reel, showing me how to put black casters on, and tackle the float (and floating caster) down to the waiting surface topping dace.

This first photograph is a view upstream (nowadays of that bridge)
beck2.jpg

whilst downstream )where we would fish) which was about 18" to 24" deep in places, and 6-8 feet wide is covered with overgrowth. beck1.jpg Impossible to fish now.

Father had now become a full time self employed fishing basket maker and had moved back to Sutton on Trent. Other tackle dealers visited, - Purvis, Thackery, Richmond's, Watson's, Marlow, Clarkes, to name but a few, but it wasn't until about 1964/65 that my fishing and methods were firmly established by Mr Ernest Calcott (Snr) of Sheffield (Old Market Place).

Steve taught me to hemp and tare fish, spending the afternoon, when he would visit, fishing the Sheffield waters at Sutton. So most of my evenings and weekends were spent fishing the tidal stretches of Sutton, Grassthorpe and Normanton only graduating to waters further afield when I started work and had a car at about 18.

The fishing basket is one I purchased from EBay, and I now believe it takes pride of place at Banksy home.

It would appear another of his baskets - based at Rotherham - currently for sale on eBay.
 
Last edited:

tee.bee

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Ive always had an interest in fishing watching my Grandad and Uncle Billy fishing the river Dee in Chester i must of been about 5 years old at the time. Grandad used to say he would teach me to be as good as him as soon as i learned to swim but sadly lost my hero and teacher a year later.I eventually learned to swim when i was 8 so hounded my mum for some fishing tackle she gave in and got me some,my mums knowledge of fishing tackle was zero so ended up with a solid glass beach caster with wooden butt god that rod was heavy and for course fishing too :ROFLMAO: but didn't know a thing either but it was my pride and joy must of bumped more fish than i caught.I eventually joined my first club at 10 and the senior members soon sorted me with some propper gear hollow fibre rod black prince reel got rid of my little stool for a wicker basket with foam tied on for a seat cushion. When my first club folded i never went fishing again till i was 19 when i joined another club and met a fella called John McKie thats when my fishing really changed he taught me everything from trotting rivers to pole and feeder fishing that shaped the future of my fishing so thats 50 years an angler now and im still as keen as i ever was and long may it continue
 

fisher338

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Sep 25, 2020
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My very first memory of fishing was a the age of 7 or 8, being left on the banks of the river Lea in London with my cousin (14 or so), and left there watching him fishing for hours. I don't remember him catching anything, and I remember being really cold, and really bored. This would happen during school holidays, he would set me up with a rod, but once I invariably got it tangled up within about half an hour that was me for the day. He also used to tell me after I'd eaten my lunch that he'd put maggots in it, to this day I don't now if he was joking or not.

Fast forward around 30 years, and a mate of mine was given a load of fishing gear, he also fished as a kid ( a lot more than i had). I fancied giving it another go, so kitted myself out with a very basic feeder rod, reel, chair and very little else. We went every weekend for a summer, I discovered method feeder and a local lake which gave a decent amount of action. Didn't really know what I was doing or why, but managed to catch a few fish.

Golf had always been my main leisure pastime, but due to a niggling back injury that has so far required two procedures, my progress has stuttered, and I was spending days recovering from a game. I'm still able to play, but not to the standard that I was previously, and I'm unable to practice as much as I need to to keep improving. So last year, during lockdown, I decided to get the fishing gear out of the shed and see what I could remember. I discovered this fantastic forum, and set about planning my first trip.

In the almost 6 months since, I've bought a ridiculous amount of stuff, spent countless hours watching youtube videos and browsing the MD forums. I've started to learn the basics from scratch, fishing the pole and feeder (mainly method, but also pellet and maggot feeders), with waggler and shallow fishing on the agenda for the summer months. I learned how to tie my own pole rigs and hooklengths, and got well and truly obsessed with catching fish.

As well as pleasure fishing I've started to fill the competitive void left by golf with match fishing, having joined a club and entered the Winter League, which with 6 of 8 rounds still to complete due to lockdown cancellations will effectively be a summer league by the time its finished. I've also joined a nomad match fishing society, so will be fishing regular (weekly ) matches on a variety of venues around the area.

I'm a long long way from being what I would class as a competent angler, but I'm far more effective than I was 6 months ago, and every time I go fishing I learn something. It's a wonderful pastime, and one that with hindsight I wish I'd taken an interest in earlier.
My very first memory of fishing was a the age of 7 or 8, being left on the banks of the river Lea in London with my cousin (14 or so), and left there watching him fishing for hours. I don't remember him catching anything, and I remember being really cold, and really bored. This would happen during school holidays, he would set me up with a rod, but once I invariably got it tangled up within about half an hour that was me for the day. He also used to tell me after I'd eaten my lunch that he'd put maggots in it, to this day I don't now if he was joking or not.

Fast forward around 30 years, and a mate of mine was given a load of fishing gear, he also fished as a kid ( a lot more than i had). I fancied giving it another go, so kitted myself out with a very basic feeder rod, reel, chair and very little else. We went every weekend for a summer, I discovered method feeder and a local lake which gave a decent amount of action. Didn't really know what I was doing or why, but managed to catch a few fish.

Golf had always been my main leisure pastime, but due to a niggling back injury that has so far required two procedures, my progress has stuttered, and I was spending days recovering from a game. I'm still able to play, but not to the standard that I was previously, and I'm unable to practice as much as I need to to keep improving. So last year, during lockdown, I decided to get the fishing gear out of the shed and see what I could remember. I discovered this fantastic forum, and set about planning my first trip.

In the almost 6 months since, I've bought a ridiculous amount of stuff, spent countless hours watching youtube videos and browsing the MD forums. I've started to learn the basics from scratch, fishing the pole and feeder (mainly method, but also pellet and maggot feeders), with waggler and shallow fishing on the agenda for the summer months. I learned how to tie my own pole rigs and hooklengths, and got well and truly obsessed with catching fish.

As well as pleasure fishing I've started to fill the competitive void left by golf with match fishing, having joined a club and entered the Winter League, which with 6 of 8 rounds still to complete due to lockdown cancellations will effectively be a summer league by the time its finished. I've also joined a nomad match fishing society, so will be fishing regular (weekly ) matches on a variety of venues around the area.

I'm a long long way from being what I would class as a competent angler, but I'm far more effective than I was 6 months ago, and every time I go fishing I learn something. It's a wonderful pastime, and one that with hindsight I wish I'd taken an interest in earlier.
 

Simon R

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None of my family were fisherman, although my Grandad had dabbled a little in sea-fishing when younger and still had a couple of wooden Scarborough reels, the use of which I politely declined.

Fishing for me really started around 1978 as it was a bit of a craze at school. There were probably about six or eight of us who started fishing at about the same time - there were two lads at school who'd fished with their fathers or brothers from an early age so they were our initial 'mentors'. Problem was that a lot of their experience was fluff-flinging or game fishing in general so although they knew the basics they weren't a huge amount of help when it came to the local park lakes where the majority of our fishing was done.

I bought my first gear from a little pawnbrokers in Middlesbrough - it was an Aladdin's cave of a shop but old man Greenwood knew where everything was. The rod was an unbranded brown fibreglass rod just shy of 11' long - it was a bit battered and creaked alarmingly when pressed into service as a leger rod. The reel was a bright green South Bend and I never have figured out how a reel from one of the biggest fishing tackle companies in America, who never sold gear in this country ended up in a back street pawn shop in North Ormesby. I bought a smattering of terminal tackle from Anglers Corner and didn't, initially bother with expensive things like landing nets and keep nets - to be honest the former were rarely necessary anyway and the latter were only for posers:p

There wasn't a huge amount of choice of tackle for 'pocket-money' prices. Almost everyone had a Shakespeare Strike rod - or it's badge engineered variants from Milbro and Argos. Other rods that I recall were the Winfield Roach Fisher, Rodrill Yellowhammer and various unbranded rods (some solid glass, some hollow) that were generally pressed into service for pike fishing. Mitchell 300/410/440 and ABU 506 etc were available but way beyond our meagre income - reels were the small Mitchells - 307/308, Shakespeare Ambidex, one of the new skirted spool Daiwa reels or if you were really unlucky an Intrepid Black Prince:poop:

Those of us who stuck at it saw our gear improve as parents realised it wasn't just another craze. I got the Bill Knott copy (Fibatube blank) of the original Hardy Carbon spliced tip in about 1980 - one of my pals got the Hardy version and they were identical other than the colour of the whippings. Shakespeare Alpha leger and carp rods came my way - I've still got the former and other friends got the Match International and early Normarks. We used to buy part-finished blanks, whip our own rings on and splice a donkey-top in the end to make bespoke tip rods. We all had poles too - glass fibre of course - LERC, Luxor and Garbolino were the brands we aspired for - LERC were the most affordable - there was a sand coloured model that was very stiff (but only available up to 6m) and a green one that was much softer but strangely available up to 8m. Ray Mumford lent his name to a bright orange creation (East Anglian Rod Co?) and I got an 8m Luxor Grand Prix for Christmas.

Many blanks and days of catching a couple of stunted roach from Albert Park and Hemlington Lake followed. Some of our fathers could be persuaded to get up at daft o'clock on a Sunday morning to take us further afield to slightly more prolific venues - Poole Hospital Pond, Tontine Lake and Hutton Rudby ponds were all favourites. River wise we'd go on the Tees at Yarm, the River Seph in Bilsdale and, since my family owned a static caravan in Wensleydale, the River Ure.

fishing at caravan2.jpg

This is from around 1979 and I was undoubtedly heading to the River Ure and to the, at the time, Leeds DASA controlled stretch at Spennithorne - note the snazzy Efgeeco seat-box - and the fact that I'd actually acquired a landing net and a keepnet.

There was no closed season in the Northumbrian Water area on stillwaters, so the spring Hemlington Lake series was insanely popular - it was usually a 40 peg sell-out, although one year Middlesbrough AC decided to cash-in on it's popularity and shoe-horn fifty pegs in - it wasn't a popular move as the last half dozen were around the back of the island and would invariably result in a blank - not much fun if, as happened quite regularly, you'd travelled up from Barnsley - both Tom Pickering and Dick Clegg were regular attendees.
Fishing the series was a kind of rite of passage for any aspiring young match anglers so after a couple of years of junior matches down at Albert Park I took the plunge and after braving the smoke filled upstairs room of the Broadway pub got my grubby hands on tickets for the four match series and the curtain raiser Lions charity match the week before.

A combination of poor draws and inexperience resulted generally in a final position just outside the top 20 - although one year (1984 I think) I was in the top ten with one match to go - when I drew end-peg 50 - I blanked, scored no points and finished about 15th I think. I didn't bother the following year but by now was fishing Stokesley club matches, Thirsk opens on the Swale and discovered the joys of the Teesside League and North Durham Winter League - both of which often involved fishing some real cess-pits - and in the case of the latter contest a number of far-flung venues that were a long way south of North Durham - Stainforth & Keadby Canal, Shelford Shallows on the Trent (in winter o_O) and Hallcroft - in the snow.

For a lot of years after that it was matches, practice, matches, practice with a fair bit of pike fishing thrown in too - qualified for the British Pike Final for seven or eight years on the trot - only picked money up once - an 11th placed finish and section win - one out of the main prizes :cry:.

Nowadays it's just low-key club matches - all on venues that I enjoy fishing - although since getting the match secretaries job in 1986 on a temporary basis I do consider getting to cherry pick the venues is one small perk of the job - although if they were rubbish I'd soon know 'cos nobody would bother turning up:p

Simon
 

PearTree

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I fell in love with fishing by reading Colin Willock's book Come Fishing With Me, from the library. That would be in about 1951, when I was 9.
My grandad had that book as well, I think I've still got it at home somewhere along with his old gear.

He bought me some basic kit (xmas 75 or 76) and took me on my first session on the Narrow Canal at Linthwaite. I caught an out of season stockie brown trout and the rest is history...
 

PearTree

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This is from around 1979 and I was undoubtedly heading to the River Ure and to the, at the time, Leeds DASA controlled stretch at Spennithorne - note the snazzy Efgeeco seat-box - and the fact that I'd actually acquired a landing net and a keepnet.
I had one of those too, my first proper box which replaced the steel ammunition box I started with. My roving bag was a WW2 gas mask case.

Despite those early flirtations with camo / army surplus I have always match fished :D
 
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