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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


My Rivers Were Not Worth Fishing So I went To The Coast

In my opinion I feel we shouldn't be fishing the local rivers the Ribble, Calder and Aire under the present conditions, all three rivers are looking horrid, and I must congratulate RMC Fisheries on closing some of their fisheries until conditions improve. I would like to see more fisheries do so. With high water temperatures low oxygen content I didn't want to cause further distress to the fish by catching them. For some time I have wanted to visit the coast to fish for mullet and bass, when my friend George called me to ask if I wanted to fish for the mullet at Fleetwood on the Fylde coast. I immediately said yes. With a cloudy sky and light winds, I though the chances of success were quite good. I used an 11 foot light Avon action rod, Mitchell 300 reel, 3lb breaking strain line with a size 14 hook and a red tipped waggler float taking 3 bb shot. Bait was breadflake. I started off by feeding pigeon egg size balls of breadcrumb. I suppose I fed a ball of bread feed every five or six minutes with a light scattering of floating bits of bread about the size of a five pence piece. After about an hour I spotted the odd fish starting to swirl at pieces of floating bread. Occasionally a fish would suck down a piece of crust or floating flake. It was time to put a hook into a bit of bread. I set the float at two feet with the shot bunched under the float. I just nicked the hook into the edge of the bait which would allow the bait to sink very slowly in a swaying motion. For about fifteen minutes I had a few bobs on the float and one fish decided to prod the float. Suddenly the float bobbed, then moved across the surface before submerging, so reminiscent to a tench bite. The strike connected with a good fish which put up a good fight for several minutes. As I played the fish I noticed another fish following its every move. Finally it was ready for netting a nice fish of 4lbs 2 ounces which was quickly returned swimming off strongly.

I probably spent about forty minutes in trying to get the fish back and feeding, but eventually they did. Seeing several fish swirling at bits of floating bread, I baited with a piece of breadflake. Within five minutes of casting out, the float bobbed twice then submerged. The strike connected with another hard fighting fish, several times line was taking off the reel as the fish fought for its freedom. I suppose it was several minutes before George was able to net a very good fish. In fact it was a super fish which when weighed pulled the scale needle round to 6lbs. After a couple of quick pictures it was released to fight another day. It would give another angler the chance to catch a hard fighting fish. These fish are a truly wild fish with no names and probably never been hooked before. If you want a challenge, why not target the mullet? Its certainly a great quarry for the freshwater angler. See picture for 6lb mullet

Martin James Fishing