How it all began for me. Tell me yours.

timber

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From as far back as i can remember my dad had some land, about 4 acres, and on that land was a large pond that a lot of my dads mates fished, myself and my mates would try and catch sticklebacks and frogs etc, We used bits of string with a worm tied on, no hooks for us!
Then one day i actually caught a small Rudd, but to me it was massive, i couldn't believe it.
i eventually progressed to a very cheap rod and reel set up, but never caught anything worthwhile, then one day at the age of about 13 my elder sisters boyfriend lent me his fishing tackle and i caught a small crucian carp, and that was it i was hooked (pardon the pun)
 

Dave Spence

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I was going to `like` a few of these posts and then realised all of them were worthy. Great tales men:)
Totally agree pomp, one of the best threads for quite a while and it is demonstrating the literary powers of the forum.👍
 

Dave Spence

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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:
I still love using a little red tipped porky mate👍👍👍
 

corkycat

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Dec 2, 2018
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I was 18 and going out with my first serious girlfriend. I had never fished before in my life. However her brother and dad were anglers and they lent me a rod, reel, and terminal tackle and took me on the Bolton - Bury canal one evening. I caught perch, roach, skimmers, and was hooked for life. It was 1970. I packed her in in 1971. I'm so glad I met her though.
 

PJG

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I started fishing with my mum and dad and sister in the fifties on the Thames at Boveney, Dorney Reach, and Penton Hook. My dad was ill for two years before he died in 1962 (cancer), I was only eight. I think he deliberately taught me how to fish knowing he was very ill? Little did he realise that I would spend a lifetime totally absorbed with fishing, loving every moment. Now I have a grown up daughter and son and am looking forward to restarting fishing with my son and two grandsons.
 

Cobweb

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When I first started all my rods were second hand - no point in splashing out cash if I wasn't going to continue after trying out fishing for size! About 18 months later I splashed out on a Carboron Quiver tip rod and a 13ft spliced tip Daiwa Whisker Kevlar rod.
The Quiver tip rod didn't last long, but I still have the Daiwa rod now in storage forever- I caught a 2lb+ roach with it at Pevensey Haven years ago - lost my bush hat that same day in a gust of wind along with about half an ounce of Golden Virginia while I was having a roll up when the float crash dived!
 

NoCarpPlease

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My fishing story is a combination of
a) NOTN’s initial triumph of perseverence over aptitude
b) a slightly Less successful version of Dave Brittain’s story

I must have started in about 1975 (age 7, rising eight). I do remember that my early forays to the Regent’s canal were wholly unsuccessful, other than a few “backs”. My dad was not an angler, so why he got me some fishing gear I don’t know ... but it ignited a passion that has never left. The 6ft solid glass spinning rod and centrepin (of sorts) reel were far from suitable, especially when combined with my “favourite” 15 pound sylcast line!!!
but I persevered ... through to a holiday in Cornwall in 1977 when I caught a blenny from a rockpool (sadly deceased due to swallowing hook) and then in 1978 a return To Cornwall and a handful of mackerel from our rubber dinghy.
After this success, I added a 7ft spinning rod a then a shakespeare strike rod to my armoury (along with a fixed spool reel)..
At hone in London I was now able to catch a couple of roach from the canal, as well as a few roach and perch from the “vale of health” pond on Hampstead Heath. We would tackle this with a driftbeater float that we nicknamed A “Sam” ... so I was already succumbing to the favourite float syndrome!

Bit the real turning point came in 1979, when we moved out to Bedfordshire, in a village that had free fishing along a stretch of the Great Ouse. By the following summer I was competent enough to catch both my first 3 pound chub and double figures of the same (On cheesepaste fwiw).
I haven’t got records of matches before 1986, although I was definitely fishing the occasional open from 1983 onwards ... including my first win (3 chub for 8 pounds from Staley’s field at Radwell in a low weight affair). Iirc at that time I couldn’t join Vauxhall AC until I was 18. I definitely graduated through ABU counterstrike, Shaky Match International and on to a matched pair of DAM quickstick’s over that period. paired of course with either an ABU 501 or a Mitchell Match.
1986, however, was definitely my breakthrough season. 3 wins and a second place on Great Ouse matches (out of 11 in total). I’ve always had the knack of catching chub on the drop, with very light shotting ... perhaps why I’ve struggled a bit more with. more heavy shotting over the years! I’ve certainly had a lot more success catching ‘on the drop’.
It’s interesting to note that I was either hero or zero in those first couple of years ... chub or bust. But I developed, acquiring techniques and knowledge like a sponge. i spread my wings a bit, visiting the Trent and Grand Union, amongst other venues. I joined the Vauxhall AC team in 1987 (national and winter league). In 1989 I framed in several Trent opens in the run up to a national on the river ... but my eyes were already on the next prize.

By 1990 it was clear that i’d reached the limit of possibilities with Vauxhall AC. Whilst we’d have 5 or 6 good results in winter league, we’d always have 5 or 6 nearer the bottom the table. In our league at the time there were 3 leading teams: ABC, Black Horse and Milton Keynes. MK were really a canal team, and ABC probably fading a little ...so my heart was set on Black Horse. In late 1990 I was proposed for Black Horse ... but fell a few votes short. In April 1991 I moved west to the Stratford-upon-Avon area, and had a superb start to the season .... with weights on the Avon, Severn and Canals. By August, Black Horse had reconsidered and I was in!!! That first winter league campaign was chastening ... Milton Keynes won! it was clear that the squad had become complacent and too large. Some much needed but also painful trimming was called for, and the squad was reduced to 13! You can see that we didn’t carry much fat when team matches needed 12!
Two great years with Black Horse followed, before I realised that I couldn’t justify the commitment. It didn’t feel like that at the time. since then I’ve bumped along, fishing between 10 matches and 35 matches a year, enjoying myself and winning a few. If I’m honest, I’ve not developed much as an angler since 1992 ... but i still love fishing matches and the occasional win!
 

Deejay8

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I will tell the story of my first fishing season, 1982/83. I began fishing in July 1982, when I was 17 years old. A friend at college used to go fishing with his father and grandfather at weekends, and he would tell me stories of his fishing trips, and it seemed like something that I might enjoy. So I got a couple of books out of the library, and bought a few issues of the Angling Times, and read up on the subject. One of the books was a Mr Crabtree one. It all seemed very exciting. I didn't know where I could go fishing. My friend fished waters that were controlled by the Royal British Legion and the Army, so I couldn't go with him. My Mum knew a lot of contacts in our village, Marchwood near Southampton, and asked around, and was told that an angling club near Romsey, Michelmersh And Timsbury A.S controlled the fishing on a pond just outside the village at Marchwood Park, an old empty manor house. Someone gave her an application form, so I joined the club before I even saw the water.
In the Angling Times I saw a full page advert for Shakespeare match rods. The top of the range President, the carbon Sigma Supra, and the fibreglass Sigma. I could only afford the 12ft Sigma fibreglass rod. Luckily it turned out to be a fantastic rod. My friend swore by Mitchell reels, so I got the only one that I could afford, a 206s. Once they arrived on mail order, I caught the bus into nearby Totton, and visited Batts Corner Sports Shop, who sold a good range of tackle and bait. I bought a landing net with a metal handle, a small cantilever box, a small fold up stool and some hooks, floats, shot and line, plus a disgorger. The line was Maxima 4lb, which I chose because it said it was invisible to fish. I still use Maxima now, but I'm now under no illusions as to it's magical properties. The shop kindly loaded the line onto my reel for me. In retrospect, I wish that they hadn't. Next stop was the Post Office for my rod licence and I was ready to go.
Although I had read a few books, my main source of learning was a free How To Fish booklet that came with the Angling Times, and described the basics behind floatfishing and legering and a bit about the different fish and the best methods and baits to catch them on. It had line drawings and at the back, a few pages to write notes and log your catches. Armed with my knowledge from this, I bought a half pint of maggots and on Saturday 31st July 1982, I walked the mile and a half to the pond. I didn't know what to expect, but the lake was beautiful. Although only about 30m from the Marchwood By-pass, it was so peaceful. Nestled in amongst the trees, with the late afternoon sun filtering through. There were a couple of islands with mature trees growing on them. Lillypads and weedbeds covered the pond, with swims cut in the weeds. It was all very Crabtree like. I set up as it showed in the book. Baited my hook and cast out. Thwack,splash. My float thrashed the water just off my rod tip. I recast. The same thing happened. I must have a faulty reel. Despondent, I packed up and trudged home. I told my Mum what had happened, and she said she knew what was wrong and knew how to fix it. The next day she told me to set up my rod and reel and took me into the field by our house. She asked me to cast out. The usual happened as per the previous day. She told me that I needed to open the bail arm, and took the rod and showed me, casting about 15m onto the grass. I tried it and did the same. Then she showed me how to feather the cast. She left me to practice for a bit. It turns out that she used to fish with her Dad when she was a girl. Mostly flyfishing for trout, but some coarse fishing. If I'd loaded the line myself, I would have figured out using the bail arm.
The next evening, the first day of August, on a hot muggy day, I walked back down to the lake with renewed enthusiasm, set up and successfully cast out. I had a couple of bites, but missed them. A guy in his early 20s kept walking around the pond, and casting something into the weedbeds. I didn't know what he was trying to catch. He watched me fishing for a couple of minutes, and shouted across the lake to me, that I was holding my rod tip way too high, and to have the tip low to the water, so I could strike properly. About 5 minutes after that, I had a bite, struck and a fish was on the hook. A small roach of about 3oz. It didn't matter that it was small. It was so beautiful, like a little piece of silver in my hand. I managed to use my disgorger ok, and carefully let the beautiful creature go. It had only been a tiny fish, but it couldn't have been more perfect in my eyes. I had been aware of the distant rumbles of thunder for about a quarter of an hour before I caught my roach.Suddenly I was aware that the rumbles were a lot louder and the sky was getting very dark. I decided to go home. I packed up and headed home. I was absolutely on Cloud 9 as I walked the mile and a half home. My first fish. I was so happy. The sky was now pitch black, despite it only 8pm. And lightning periodically flashed across the sky. I just got through the front door and with an almighty flash and a crash, the heavens opened, and we were treated to a thunderstorm that lasted for the next three hours. I returned back to the lake every day that week. It took me just one day to figure out that by throwing in a few maggots every few casts, resulted in more bites, and by the end of the week I was catching 30 or 40 small fish. Mostly small roach and rudd, but also perch and the occasional small skimmers.
I got to know a few of the guys that fished the lake, including the chap who had told how to hold the rod. He was called Mark Heuer and he was a carp angler. He showed me his bait, freelined dog biscuits, and explained how he was casting into the weed to catch the carp on the surface. He caught a mirror carp of about 14lbs. It looked absolutely huge. He told me that I needed to get a bit more experience before I tried to catch them, and I would need to buy a different rod and reel. That night I went to bed dreaming of monster carp.
A week and a half after catching my first ever fish, and now with over a hundred small fish having been caught, I was back fishing the pond. The float went under and I struck. Suddenly my rod had a bend in it, and I realised that I had hooked something a lot bigger. I managed to steer it away from the lillypads and eventually got it onto the surface. It was a beautiful dark green fish with a buttery yellow belly. I slipped it into the net. I had caught my first tench. An incredibly beautiful fish, and the first that had needed to be played to the net. It was a big moment in my fishing life. As my first season progressed, I began to want to catch bigger fish and especially, I wanted to catch a carp. I had saved some money, and I bought a carp rod and reel. An orange Shakespeare Alpha 10ft rod, and a Mitchell 300. An old guy who fished for carp, called Sid West, showed me the baits he used. Luncheon meat and trout pellet paste. I started to fish like he did, with freelined baits tight to the islands.
By now the Summer was slipping into Autumn. The pond was a truly beautiful place. The trees began to glow with yellow and red and ochre, and the low sun dappled the water. In the last week of September, I hooked and landed my first carp. After a bit of a battle, I finally slipped a 5lb common carp into my net. A couple of weeks later, I began fishing dog biscuits on the surface and hooked but lost a couple of big carp. And then a heavy frost fell across the lake, and the fishing became hard. The carp disappeared and the silver fishing became difficult. The only anglers on the pond now were after pike. And so my fishing came to an end for the year. It had been a wonderful beginning, and I couldn't wait until the next season.
 

Pompous git

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Come on Pg, I’ll bet yours is a ripping yarn?
I have put my early exploits elsewhere on here but I would like to share this.

In Kent we have the river Beult {pronounced belt}. Basically a clay based spate river but utilised for mills etc by landowners for
centuries, in one place where the land drops away sharply an almost lake sized body of water fed about a dozen mills all in the
space of about a mile or so and all mentioned in the doomsday book.
Anyway, one of the many headwaters of this river is a few hundred yards from my house, about eighteen inches across and an
inch deep it is of no angling value but if I had lived here as a small boy it would have been my playground. I have walked past it
countless times and even now have that hankering to explore it, I don`t think the little boy fascination with streams ever leaves
us. Will try and get a picture of it.
 

theendpeg

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Jun 26, 2018
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When I was growing up the troubles in the North of Ireland were raging around me, there wasn't a lot for a kid to do on a working class housing estate to get away from the soldiers, police, house raids, bombs, rioting and bombscares. What we did have was a local park lake a 5 minute walk from my house which at the time was stuffed with Bream, Roach, Hybrids, Perch, Pike and the odd Carp. I went with my dad, his mate and his kids. We didn't really have a clue what we were doing, stiff pike rods, yellow sea line and hooks that could pull in a great white with double maggot :ROFLMAO:. Needless to say we didn't catch anything but persevered and kept going.

After a year or two I borrowed a book from the library, The Complete Coarse Fisherman by John Wilson and from that I started to learn the finer points of tackle, how to set up a waggler rig, a feeder rig, feeding etc. Around the same time a weekly magazine came out, that you could collect and put in binder, I can't remember the name of it but it set me on my way and featured articles from the likes of Steve Gardner. That Christmas I asked my parents for some "proper" tackle and woke up on Christmas morning to a feeder rod, a 12ft match rod, a reel and various bits and pieces. That summer I was off to my local park lake again armed with brown crumb, drennan feeders, B611s, red maggots and my new feeder rod and reel. I remember vividly the tip wrapping round and feeling the thump on the other end of the line. Within a few minutes I was proudly holding a bream of about 4lb. I couldn't continue fishing because of the excitement so packed up and off I went home to tell my dad.

From then on I fished religiously and couldn't be stopped, my Friday routine was the same, up to the local tackle shop to collect my bait and buy any bits and pieces, then home to prep my tackle. I pulled some massive bags of fish from our local lake, over 100lb Bream one morning being a highlight. As the years went by, I started gathering more tackle and branched out, I got a cheap 11m pole one Christmas and felt like the anglers I had seen in the magazines. A local matchman saw me fishing from my old plastic box one day and told me to call around to his house that evening so off I went. He gave me a spare box of his complete with drawers and Octoplus legs, I started saving my lunch money and bought side trays and feeder arms. I felt like the best angler on the planet sitting on that box. I started fishing places like the Bann at Portadown, a World famous roach venue at the time and had some massive catches and the Lower Bann at Portglenone, still the best roach venue in Europe in my opinion. I stumbled across a match while out for a walk one evening and was invited to fish with them so started fishing summer leagues, I also won a national schools competition with a feeder caught bag of roach at Portglenone. I did a bit trout fishing with some local anglers as well, thoroughly enjoyed it but coarse fishing was always my first love.

Then I turned 18 and found the old vices of women and drink, off to Uni I went and fishing wasn't the be all and end all anymore. I still went and was still putting together some serious bags of fish. I then moved to Scotland and didn't fish at all, came back home and had got out of the habit. Now I haven't wetted a line for about 13 years, I've tried at various points to get back into it but something has always got in the way. I've given away most of my tackle over the years or it has become obsolete. I still have 2 Daiwa Amorphous SW Feeder Rods and yesterday I took the plunge and spent a few quid with Angling Direct to begin the process of kitting myself out. I live an hour away from Lough Muckno, an hour from the Erne, and an hour from Portglenone, some of the finest fishing available anywhere. As soon as restrictions are lifted again, I'll be out on the bank. If I still have it, I'll maybe enter a few matches next summer and take it from there.
 
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